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Update following eruption on Whakaari/White Island: Whakaari/White Island is located 50km offshore from Whakatane township. Whakatane is not physically effected by the eruption and is open for business and safe to travel to. The Whakatane coastline is safe for swimming and recreational water activities.

Welcome to Whakatane - the sunshine capital of New Zealand! Local Maori believe New Zealand was first discovered more than 1,000 years ago by Tiwakawaka, who settled his people in what is now Whakatane. The town takes pride in its rich Maori history and is the perfect place to enjoy authentic cultural experiences. The people of Whakatane would love to see you!

Whakatane is the cultural hub of the coastal Bay of Plenty and is home to Ngati Awa (the dominant Maori tribe in this area). You can experience New Zealand’s indigenous culture first-hand when you visit Mataatua Wharenui – the most well-travelled Maori meeting house in the country.

Learn why this grand building spent more than 130 years away in Australia and the UK before returning home to Whakatane. Admire its intricate wooden carvings and feel the spiritual presence of Maori ancestors. A digital lightshow combined with cultural songs and stories will leave your spine tingling.

The town’s main street features plenty of shops, local services, cafes and restaurants. On the outskirts of town you will find The Hub Whakatane – a large-format shopping centre with many national retail chains. Over 24,000sqm of retail space and 900 free carparks are available.

Visible from the shore sits Moutohora (Whale Island). Join a small tour group and explore the island looking for native birds and seals. Dig your own hot pool at Sulphur Bay beach and watch geothermal hot water rise up through the sand.

Whakatane is known as the ‘kiwi capital of the world’ and is home to many of these rare flightless birds. Listen for their calls at night as they scuttle through nearby bush and reserves.

The fertile land that surrounds Whakatane is a wonderful place to sample fresh produce – especially summer berries. Visit Julian’s Berry Farm on the outskirts of town to pick fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and more. Or try one of their enormous berry ice-creams, made right in front of your eyes.

Whakatane is a great place to chill out with family or embark on many exciting adventures. So come and bask in the sunshine.

For more information visit https://www.whakatane.com