is located in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand.
Sandy beaches are predominant along the 54 kilometres of coastline.
Whakatane is the gateway to the East Cape, and the Whakatane
and Motu Rivers. Activities include jet boating, rafting,
dolphin watching, game fishing, bush walks, horse treks, 4x4
tours, hunting trips, helicoptor flights surfing on Ohope
beach tramping in the Urewera National Park. Te
Urewera National Park in the south is protected native forest
home to a rich array of flora and fauna.
AREA GUIDE WHAKATANE NEW ZEALAND
(pronounced [?aka'ta?ne] in Maori; IPA: /f?k?'t??ni/ or
/??k?'t??ni/ in English) is a town in the Bay of Plenty
region, in the North Island of New Zealand and is the
seat of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Whakatane
is 90 km east of Tauranga and 89 km north-east of Rotorua,
at the mouth of the Whakatane River.Despite officially
being in the Bay of Plenty region, many local people prefer
to say that they live in the "Eastern Bay of Plenty".
.The town has a population of 18,750, with another 15,650
people living within the greater Whakatane District. Of
the 34,400 people (June 2008 estimate) in the District
around 40% have Maori ancestry. The District has a land
area of 4,442.07 km² (1,715.09 sq mi).Whakatane was
among the towns affected by the 1987 Edgecumbe Earthquake.
The site of the town has long been populated. Maori pa
sites in the area date back to the first Polynesian settlements,
estimated to have been around 1200 CE. According to Maori
tradition Toi te Huatahi, later known as Toi Kairakau,
landed at Whakatane, about AD 1150, in search of his grandson,
Whatonga. Failing to find Whatonga, he decided to settle
in the locality and built a pa on the highest point of
the headland now called Whakatane Heads, overlooking the
present town. Some 200 years later the Mataatua waka landed
The name "Whakatane" commemorates an incident
occurring after the arrival of the Mataatua. The men had
gone ashore and the canoe began to drift. Wairaka, a chieftainess,
said “Kia Whakatane au i ahau” (“I will
act like a man”), and commenced to paddle (which
women were not allowed to do), and with the help of the
other women saved the canoe
The region around Whakatane was important during the New
Zealand Wars of the mid 19th century, particularly the
Volkner Incident. Its role culminated in 1869 with raids
by Te Kooti's forces. Whakatane beach heralded an historic
meeting on the 23 March 1908 between Prime Minister Joseph
Ward and the controversial Maori prophet and activist
Rua Kenana Hepetipa. Kenana claimed to be Te Kooti's successor.
Whale Island (or Motuhora) is a small island off the Bay
of Plenty coast about 12 kilometres north of Whakatane.
The island has numerous sites of pa (Maori fortified villages).
It also provided shelter for Cook's Endeavour in 1769.
A whaling station existed on the island during the 19th
Industries and tourism
The town's main industries are diverse: forestry, dairy
farming, horticulture, fishing, tourism and manufacturing
are all well-established. There is a paper mill and a
newspaper press. Whakatane is the gateway to Whakaari/White
Island, New Zealand's most active volcano, located 48
kilometres north of Whakatane and a popular destination
for day cruises. Whakatane is also used as a base for
many tourists who wish to explore other activities in
the surrounding region. Popular tourist activities include
swimming with dolphins, whale watching, chartered fishing
cruises, surf tours, amateur astronomy, hunting, aviation
The mouth of the Whakatane River and Ohiwa Harbour have
both provided berths for yachts, fishing trawlers and
small ships since European settlement of the area. More
recently, the construction of an airport on the western
side of the river has provided the region with access
to commercial air transport which dramatically reduced
passenger transport times to and from the major international
airports at Auckland and Wellington.
A branch railway line (Whakatane Industrial railway connected,
now dismantled and lines lifted}, the Whakatane Board
Mills to the Taneatua branch line, which in turn is connected
to the East Coast Main Trunk Railway. The Whakatane Industrial
Railway is currently mothballed, but has never had a passenger
rail service. Private cars and some limited bus services
and taxis (as well as cycling and walking) are the primary
modes of transport for residents.The city also has access
to modern telecommunications infrastructure including
high speed internet access.
WHAKATANE NEW ZEALAND ACCOMMODATION TRAVEL TOURISM INFORMATION