Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty


  • Base for White Island
  • Maori historical sites
  • Dolphin and seal tours


  • By car: 1 hour 10 mins from Rotorua

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Whakatāne frequently records the highest number of sunshine hours in New Zealand. This sunny town is known for fishing trips and volcano visits.

Bay of Plenty
Heli to White Island, Bay of Plenty

By Chris Sisarich

Bay of Plenty
Whakatane Heads, Bay of Plenty


New Zealand
Sand castles at Ohope, New Zealand

By Whakatane District Council

Bay of Plenty
Ohope, Bay of Plenty

By Jim Robinson

The main centre for the eastern Bay of Plenty, Whakatāne is one of the sunniest towns in New Zealand. Just off shore is White Island, a spectacular active volcano that can be visited by launch or helicopter. Guided tours of the island necessitate a gas mask and hard hat. Whakatāne is also known for its fishing – more yellow fin tuna are caught here than anywhere else in the country.

Other Whakatāne attractions include the museum, an observatory and Māori historical sites. The Nga Tapuwae o Toi walkway leads to pa sites, native forest and seabird colonies. Dolphin and Seal tours, which can include swimming encounters, start in November. There are guided Kayak tours on offer around Ohiwa Harbour and Whale Island.

Whakatāne is also very close to Ohope, a 10km white sandy beach, which has a small settlement and is perfect for camping, surfing, walking and relaxing in the sun.  

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