Just over one hours' drive away from Tauranga is the town of Whakatāne, a place rich in art and culture. Discover the Ngā Tapuwae o Toi trail and it's rich history. Experience an Eco Tour with local Maori guides. Check out the art galleries and cafés and enjoy the vibes in this special coastal town.
Ōmataroa Eco-tours, Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre, and wandering Kiwi!
KIWI CAPITAL OF THE WORLD™
Whakatāne earns the title of Kiwi Capital of the World™ as no other large town has New Zealand's elusive national bird living in such close proximity. The Whakatāne Kiwi Trust has worked tirelessly to create a safe predator-free environment for Kiwi to thrive and calls of the bird can sometimes be heard from the centre of town. Locals who live adjacent to the reserves may even have kiwi forage in their garden!
As you walk through the town, you may notice some very special bronze statues of our iconic bird. It’s the Kiwi Wandering Trail – a self-guided scavenger hunt through the heart of Whakatāne. Find the ten life-like, life‑size bronze kiwi statues, brought to life by artist Dr Liz Grant.
If you are ready for an unforgettable journey, look no further than Ōmataroa Eco Tours and Kiwi Bird Experiences. Ōmataroa forest is home to Puhikōkō Reserve and Ngākauroa Wetland, both important to areas to the region and stunning beauty. You'll be transported and guided through beautiful native bush while learning about local Maori history and traditions as well as kiwi conservation. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to explore Aotearoa New Zealand in an eco-friendly and responsible way.
Listen out for kiwi in the Kiwi Capital of the World™ and spot the bronze statues on the Kiwi Wandering Trail.
NGĀ TAPUWAE O TOI (THE FOOTSTEPS OF TOI)
Follow in the footsteps of the mighty Chief, Toi, on this spectacular walk. This track spans three major reserves – Kōhī Point Scenic Reserve, Ōhope Scenic Reserve and Mokorua Scenic Reserve – which can be undertaken in sections or as a 16-kilometre round trip.
The track contains pā sites of major historic significance, superb native forest and spectacular coastal views. It is a treat for bird watchers with both seabird colonies and forest bird song to delight you.
This trail is a Kiwi friendly zone and no dogs are allowed on the track.
CONTEMPORARY ARTS AND CULTURE
The Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre is the hub of contemporary arts and culture in Whakatāne. There are three gallery spaces that feature vibrant and ever-changing exhibitions. Entry is by koha (donation).
When you're ready for something to eat, try L'Epicerie on Commerce Street for incredible coffee and one of their famous almond croissants. Carry on around town and enjoy the boutique shopping.
The Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre, boutique shopping and cafés.