24 September 2021 | Written by Bachcare Holiday Homes

Whakatane to Opotiki Road Trip

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Places to stop from Whaktane to Opotiki

Whakatane to Opotiki
The Whakatane Harbour. Credit: Wikicommons

A holiday is what you need to relax and de-stress this summer. The East Cape of New Zealand might be the perfect holiday spot for you.

It stretches from Whakatane to Opotiki, past Ohope beach and Ohiwa bay. The journey is approximately 44 km and should take you 0.75 hr to get there. The road conditions are good, making it the perfect cruise for your day. 

Several attractions on the road will keep you enchanted and motivated to continue the trip. Some of them include the museum, an active volcano, historical sites, extraordinary beaches, among others. 

Let’s map out this journey with you.


Whakatane Harbour
The Whakatane Harbour at Sunset. Credit: Wikicommons

This town is the main center for the Eastern Bay of Plenty and one of the sunniest towns in the country. It boasts an active volcano, White Island, a museum, observatory, historical Maori sites, and perfect water bodies for dolphin swimming. 

You can also fish from its waters, go on walks, visit hot springs, and experience nature the natural way. If you love the ocean, this town is a must-stop.

You will also find Maori historical sites. You will find historical monuments such as Tauwhare Pa, Te Papaka, Pohaturoa, Te Toka A Taiao, Otuawhaki, Wairere Falls, Muriwai’s Cave, Historical Trail, and the Lady on the Rock. 

All these places define the history of Whakatane and provide it with its attractive allure and enchantment. With the various gardens scattered about the area, Whakatane is a place that defines peace and tranquillity.

Ohope Beach

Ohope Beach
Ohope Beach. Credit: Wikicommons

New Zealanders love this beach and for good reasons. It lies on the stretch of road that connects Opotiki to Whakatane. You can walk on the stretch of white sand covering over 11km and shadowed by pine trees.

Ohope beach is a beautiful place to be, especially in the evening times. The evening breeze adds to the allure of the beach. If you feel like it, you can play golf at the Ohope International Golf Course or walk the Nga Tapuwae o Toi Walkway.

From the vantage point of this beautiful beach, you can see your next recommended spot, Ohiwa Bay and Harbour. You should also visit the Fisherman’s Wharf to enjoy traditional and continental dishes—a deserving cap to a wonderful day well spent. 

Pohutukawa trees are also one of the many beauties that outline this beach. Under them, you can watch the birds that frequent this beach and Ohiwa bay and harbor. The view is heavenly.

Ohiwa Bay and Harbour

Ohiwa Bay
Ohiwa Bay. Credit: Wikicommons

Your next town sight is just ahead of Ohope beach—a town with a lot of water bodies and water entertaining activities like fishing, surfing, swimming, paddleboarding, among many others.

Several bird species make their way up here in the spring, including curlews, oystercatchers, godwits, bitterns, banded rails, and plied stilts. Bring a pair of binoculars to give you a better view of the birds. 

You may also hire a kayak or canoe and just float on the water for many miles, enjoying the breeze and the sublime quiet. It is the perfect spot for a water holiday.


Opotiki at sunset. Credit: Wikicommons

The gateway to the East Cape, Opotiki is a beautiful town to see. The distance of 44 km from Opotiki to Whakatane should not hinder you from visiting any of these towns when you travel New Zealand. Opotiki is perfect for fishing, surfing, and swimming. 

You can also relax in the forests that surround the town. In this town, you will find the giant and ancient Puriri tree, estimated to be over 2000 years of age.

Check out the Motu Trails, some parts of the Nga Haerenga, and the New Zealand Cycle Trail, which can accommodate everyone, regardless of age or abilities.

Opotiki is famous for its sporting events and clubs, and you can participate ins several sports, including races and fishing. Even the major street of the town bears witness to its beauty, as it is decorated with carvings from intelligent and master carvers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Are the Maori?
The Maori are the indigenous settlers of the present day, New Zealand. They settled around 800 to 1300 AD and formed a large part of the country’s tradition and culture. You will find historical sites of ancient settlers all around the country.
What Is the Traditional Language of New Zealand?
Te Reo Maori is the traditional language of New Zealanders. They also speak a bit of English, and many of them are fluent in sign language.
How Many Kilometres is Whakatane to Opotiki?
Opotiki to Whakatane is about 44km. However, you should note that the beautiful attractions along the road can take several days to enjoy.
How Many Hours will the Journey Take?
It takes about one hour to get from Whakatane to Opotiki. However, if you take detours on your journey, it may take you days.


On your journey, you will pass several hills, including the foothills of the Urewera Ranges. If you don’t want to miss the traditional Maori culture that includes several carved houses and churches, you absolutely should book a house or several along your trip.

View our other “road trip” blog posts:

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