Whakatane is a coastal town in the eastern Bay of Plenty on New Zealand's North Island. It is one of the sunniest towns in New Zealand.

Get in

By plane

Air Chathams fly to and from Auckland twice a day. Air New Zealand stopped flying here in April 2015. Rental cars are available at the airport.

By car

Whakatane is less than 100 kilometres from the cities of Rotorua and Tauranga. It is less than 4 hours drive from Auckland and Hawke's Bay and 2.5 hours from Gisborne, Hamilton and Taupo. Wellington is a 6.5+ hour drive through beautiful scenery.

Another scenic drive is the Pacific Coast Highway, "traversing the spectacular east coast of New Zealand's North Island, is one of the great touring routes in the world. The Pacific Coast Highway is well signposted along the entire route, giving a safe and easy way to navigate through some of the most spectacular coastal scenery New Zealand has to offer". Whakatane is about half way along this scenic highway, which starts in Auckland and finishes in Hawkes Bay. The scenery is stunning, but note that Whakatane is probably the last big town before reaching Gisborne, so ensure you take some food along with you. There are no shopping malls between Opotiki (the next town) and Gisborne.

By bus

Intercity runs a daily service each way between Auckland and Gisborne, stopping at Whakatane. From Auckland it runs through Hamilton and Rotorua, and it carries on through Opotiki to Gisborne. The bus stop is next to the i-Site on Quay Street.

Baybus, a regular local bus service, operates between Whakatane, Ohope, Kawerau, Matata, Opotiki and Tauranga. The Ohope–Whakatane and Ohope–Tauranga lines run Monday to Saturday, while Whakatane–Opotiki and Whakatane–Kawerau run twice weekly. The Whakatane–Matata line runs once a week. The fares are cheap as they have been subsidised by the regional council.

Get around

Whakatane has limited public transport. The Baybus service runs to Ohope, Tauranga, Matata, Kawerau and Opotiki, but not every day.

Renting a car is the easiest way to get around Whakatane and see all the local sights. Parking is free generally (there is only one area where you have to pay, and not many locals will take this option), but has strict time limits.



The two main shopping areas are along The Strand, and just before the bridge entering the town (The Hub). The Strand contains both national franchise stores as well as independent and local stores, while The Hub mainly contains national franchises.



Accommodation includes motels, backpackers, bed and breakfasts, and holiday parks/campsites. Many of the motels are along Landing Road and The Strand.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, November 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.