Pickup Locations Whakatane

Whakatāne frequently records the highest number of sunshine hours in NewZealand. And with everything from fishing trips to volcano visits, this sunny town makes for a picture perfect getaway in the outdoors.

Get out on the Water

The main centre for the eastern Bay of Plenty, Whakatāne is also known for its fishing – with more yellow fin tuna caught here than anywhere else in the country. Fishing trips can be easily organised with one of the local tour operators and are a great way to spend an afternoon.

There are also dolphin watching and seal spotting tours, which can include swimming encounters, that start in November. Guided Kayak tours are also available for trips around Ohiwa Harbour and Whale Island. Whakatāne is also very close to Ohope, a 10km stretch of white sandy beach, which is perfect for camping, surfing, walking and relaxing in the sun.

Culture and Walking Trails

Whakatāne is the cultural hub of the Whakatāne District. Local attractions include Mataatua Wharenui, an impressive Māori meeting house, along with the Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre – which also showcases the rich heritage and history of the area.

Whakatāne has a wide variety of walks both inside and surrounding the city centre, including the Warren Cole Walkway, the Public Art Trail, Historic Trail, Whakatāne Gardens, and the western end of the Nga Tapuwae o Toi walking track.

The Whakatāne River is the point of departure for most oceangoing activities, including fishing charters and tours to the popular White Island.

Lady on the Rock

Unveiled at the Whakatāne Heads in 1965, this bronze statue atop Turuturu Rock lies at the mouth of the Whakatāne River and commemorates the bravery of Wairaka, the daughter of Toroa, captain-navigator of the Mataatua waka.

So the story goes, as a woman in the tribe, Wairaka was forbidden to handle a canoe. While the men went ashore, they left the women and children in the waka. The women noticed the river had swelled and they were rapidly drifting back out to sea. But being forbidden to handle the canoe, they didn’t know what to do. Realising the danger of the situation, Wairaka bravely took control, crying “Kia Whakatane au i ahau”, – which translates as “I will act the part of a man”. Today, her power, and the power of all women, is celebrated in this defiant statue.

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