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Once, many years ago, Ohope was a sleepy little hamlet, now it has blossomed into a resort with a wealth of interests for holidaymakers of all ages. And the beach, always a hive of activity but never crowded, is patrolled by professional Whakatane Surf Life Saving Club lifeguards ensuring everyone’s safety.
West End, long a favourite with surfers, is also one of the access points to Otarawairere Beach, one of the most picturesque beaches in the Bay of Plenty. Surf lessons are available at West End.
Accommodation is, of course, the paramount thought in holidaymakers’ minds and Ohope can cater for all tastes with home stays, bed and breakfasts, camping grounds and motels, all staffed by very friendly people.
Port Ohope and Ohiwa Harbour are also fascinating places to visit with yachting, windsurfing and fishing among the many recreational opportunities. Guided kayak tours are available with www.kgkayaks.co.nz - a perfect activity for families.
Ohiwa Harbour is home to countless sea birds...and the recreational area for many holidaymakers who flock there to enjoy its many delights.
The calm waters of this inner harbour are, of course, the major draw card for the holidaymakers. There they can fish, sail, swim, dive, windsurf, kayak among many other recreational pursuits possible in the area. There is also the chance to fish for flounder and other fish species and gather shellfish, which abound on the rich mudflats.
Ohiwa Harbour covers an area of 2,700 hectares and has 86 kilometres of shoreline. At low tide 70 percent of the harbour is exposed affording the migratory wading birds the chance to feed on the rich sand banks and mudflats. Many of these birds are godwits, which travel up to 11,000 kilometres from their home in Siberia to Ohiwa. That says something for the popularity of the area!
The rich diversity of Ohiwa Harbour is further enhanced by the six bush-clad islands within its confines. The harbour is also rich in Maori history with Tauwhare Pa, an easily accessible site to walk to from the main road.