EXPLORE THE EASTERN BAY
The Eastern Bay of Plenty is a playground for those who love to get out and explore the great outdoors. This coastal paradise has plenty of epic cycling, walking, and water-based activities to experience. Check out some of our suggestions below!
Search for kiwi, explore our coastal paradise, discover epic walks, or simply relax.
By Car (to Whakatāne):
From Auckland: 3 hours and 45 minutes
From Hamilton: 2 hours and 30 minutes
From New Plymouth: 5 hours and 20 minutes
From Napier: 3 hours and 40 minutes
From Wellington: 6 hours and 30 minutes
Cycling in the Eastern Bay of Plenty
Exploring the Eastern Bay of Plenty by bike is easy. Cruise along the Ōhope Harbourside Trail for a gentle amble alongside one of New Zealand's most unspoiled estuaries, Ōhiwa Harbour. This trail is suitable for all ages so it's a great option for families.
Head further down the coast to experience one of New Zealand's Great Rides, the Motu Trails. Choose from three trails depending on your level of experience, or combine all three for the ultimate cycling adventure. Motu Cycle Trails offers a bike hire and shuttles.
Take it to the next level and head inland to Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park which has beginner, intermediate and experienced trails available, set in one of the most spectacular rainforests in the country.
Note: Due to severe weather this track is currently closed. For more information see here
Enjoy a chilled out bike ride around the region, or get the heart racing on some epic mountain bike trails.
Hikes & Walking Trails
Ngā Tapuwae o Toi Trail
Ngā Tapuwae o Toi (or the 'Footsteps of Toi') captures the essence of the Whakatāne District. Explore three major scenic reserves, historically significant pā sites, spectacular coastal views and plenty of native flora and fauna. Split the walk into sections or complete it as a 16-kilometre round walk.
Kiwi Wandering Trail
This is a great one for families! Take yourself on a self-guided scavenger hunt through Whakatāne and look for the 10 life-sized bronze kiwi statues wandering through the heart of this seaside town. Pick up a brochure with clues from the Whakatāne i-SITE Visitor Information Centre and see how many you can find! The trail is approximately 1.6 kilometres long and starts outside Te Kōputu a Te Whanga a Toi – Library and Exhibition Centre and finishes at Wairaka Centennial Park.
Ōmataroa Eco Tours
Exclusive views...say no more! Embark on a journey through nature and be taken on a guided walk through Ōmataroa's eco sanctuary. Learn about the environmental restoration efforts which includes pest management and active Kiwi conservation or get educated on the native flora and fauna and the cultural significance of the the land and people. Located just inland from Whakatāne this guided eco tour provides exclusive access to breathtaking scenic views and pristine native forest. Find out more!
Everyone loves a secret! And Ōtarawairere Beach is one of the best-kept secrets in the Whakatāne-Ōhope region. It's only accessible by foot or kayak which makes it all the more special. Only 15-minutes walk from West End in Ōhope, this beach is a perfect spot for a picnic, swim or a day to just unwind and relax!
For information on other walks in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, visit whakatane.com.
Explore the Bay by foot; choose from a huge range of stunning walking and hiking tracks.
With over 125 kilometres of coastline, the Bay of Plenty is the perfect place to visit for an adventure on the water. Why not try casting a line out to catch your dinner, or maybe you're keen to take a guided tour to get up close with our marine life?
There are plenty of places to go fishing in the Bay of Plenty. With wharves and jetties dotted all over the place, you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing where to go. For something more serious, book a charter with Diveworks or The Gambler Fishing Charters.
Dolphin & Wildlife Tours
Here's one for the bucket list. Jump on board with one of the experienced local operators for your chance to get up close with dolphins, seals, whales, sea birds, and other amazing marine wildlife for an unforgettable experience! Diveworks offers a great range of tours in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
Explore an Eco-sanctuary
Located just off the coast of Whakatāne is Moutohorā (Whale Island) – a pest-free oasis that is home to many native New Zealand birds, reptiles and plants. Moutohorā: Island Sanctuary is one of the few operators with a DoC concession to land on the island. Their 4-5 hour tour gives an amazing glimpse into this regenerative island. The tour ends with an optional swim at the island's best-kept secret – a hot water beach!
Get out on the ocean and explore the Bay by boat!
Where to stay
Whether you want to stay in the bustling town of Whakatāne, or in one of the seaside settlements such as Ōhope Beach or Thornton Beach, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking accommodation. Some top spots include: Ōhope Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, White Island Rendezvous, One88 on Commerce, and Thornton Beach Holiday Park.
Where to eat
Whakatāne town centre has plenty of delicious cafés, bars, restaurants and takeaway options so no matter what you're craving, there'll be something to satisfy your tastebuds. Gibbo's on the Wharf offers some of the freshest fish and chips you'll ever have - it's a must-do while you're in town! Other great options include: Cafe Awa and L'Epicerie.
Over the hill in Ōhope Beach you'll find a couple of great options; coffee and brunch at Moxi Cafe is a popular option for both locals and visitors, and Port Ōhope General Store & Cafe offers great views of both the ocean and Ōhiwa Harbour, as well as great burgers.
Check out the local produce at the popular Whakatāne Sunday Market from 8:00 am - 11:00 am every - yep you guessed it - Sunday. You'll find local growers selling organically grown fruit and vegetables, handmade products, fresh honey and olive oils, jewellery, crafts and plenty more!