Whakatāne can be found 90 km north-east of Rotorua. Located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, it's often referred to as the Pacific Jewel of the eastern Bay of Plenty. Many of its 19,000 residents are employed in its major business industries of forestry, dairy farming, horticulture, fishing, manufacturing, and tourism.
Although the Whakatāne District was created in 1976, the site of the town has long been populated with Māori pa (fortified village) sites that date back to the first Polynesian settlers, estimated to have been around AD 1200.
Spend the sunny days exploring more than 200 km of stunning New Zealand coastline, and experience the regions famous deep sea game fishing or the many marine sports on offer, such as whale watching, diving, surfing, and boating. Just down the road from Whakatāne you can visit the beautiful Ohope beach.
Heading inland off the coast of Whakatāne is the Te Urewera National Park, the third largest park in New Zealand. There are days’ worth of walking and hiking tracks to discover, as well as the stunning scenery of Lake Waikaremoana.
White Island, about 48 kilometres off shore, is the country's most active volcano and private scenic reserve accessible by tour boats and helicopters. The surroundings are quite surreal and visitors can walk right inside the main crater, which is just above sea level. Experience first-hand, nature's immense power as gas and steam burst up from far below the Earth's crust.
Read more about Whakatāne at the Whakatane Council website.