By Opotiki i-SITE
1 hour 45 mins from Tauranga
1 hour 50 mins from Gisborne
Ōpōtiki is a great place to slow down and get into the mood of the Tairāwhiti Gisborne and Bay of Plenty regions. There are beaches to wander, forests to explore and rivers to swim.
By John Dawson
Reflecting the area’s importance for Māori, the main street of Ōpōtiki is decorated with the works of master carvers.
To get a picture of local history, you can take a guided walk with a Māori historian or visit the museum. Ōpōtiki is believed to be one of the first places settled by Māori.
In summer, the town fills up with holiday makers who enjoy the surf beaches, fishing and river activities.
Hukutaia Domain, south of the town centre, has one of the finest collections of native plants in New Zealand.
You can also admire the domain's 2,500-year-old Puriri Tree, which is highly sacred to local Māori.