Whakatane Airport is an airport in New Zealand that serves the Whakatane District, and tourist landmarks in the vicinity. An example of such surrounding attractions is Mount Tarawera, the famed volcano in the North Island. The airport’s main movements include daily direct flights to Auckland and Wellington. Airlines serving the airport include Eagle Airways, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia.
The airport is about 10 kilometres away from central Whakatane. It is most convenient to rent a car to reach various destinations in the city. Otherwise, arrange for a shuttle transfer service for easy travel between the airport and downtown Whakatane. Taxis are also available for hire, when you dial their hotline.
Within Whakatane, public transport is limited. The Bay Bus Service operates routes to Ohope, Taurange, Kawerau and Opotiki, but these services are not available every day. Instead, opt for driving. Rental cars come in hand when sightseeing in more remote areas of Whakatane. An added bonus is that parking is generally free throughout the city, except for certain designated areas. Alternatively, call for cabs from reliable taxi companies to get around.
What to See & Do
There are plenty of activities to do in Whakatane District, from exploring historic Maori cultural sites to swimming with seals. Visit Mataatua, Te Manuka Tutahi, for an authentic marae experience. In Maori tradition, the Mataatua was one of the leading voyaging canoes that arrived in New Zealand; several iwi are able to trace their origins to ancestors on board the Mataatua. Tour the Maori pa sites, to discover more about the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.
Embark on the Nga Tapuwae o Toi trail, and immerse yourself in the natural scenery surrounding you. Be captivated by the excellent native forest, unsurpassed coastal views, flourishing wildlife, and stunning vistas. Explore the three main scenic reserves: Kohi Point, Ohope, and Mokoroa Scenic Reserves. The Kohi Point is superb for bush walking, where keen walkers are rewarded with spectacular cliff top views and the amazing Otarawairere beach. Bird watchers can opt for the Ohope trail, which involves walking through wetlands, to spot native birds such as the kiwi, tui, bellbirds and fantails. Venture along the Mokoroa Bush path and observe the flora and fauna along the way.
Visit Moutohora (Whale Island), for a myraid of exciting activities. Kayak around Whale Island, and go swimming with dolphins and seals in the vicinity. Visitors can also choose to snorkel with the fishes, or take a dive to the colourful shallow reefs. Try New Zealand’s latest wreckdive, which offers 44-metre deepsea trawlers a new perspective. Apart from water activities, travellers can take guided tours around the island to gain a better understanding about the wildlife sanctuary.
The Whaakari (White Island) is a must-visit when in Whakatane; rarely do you get the opportunity to experience active volcanoes this close (while still surviving). These live volcanoes are accessible by boat or helicopter. Marvel at the sulphur-lipped fumaroles and billowing steam vents amidst the ash-soaked crater. The White Island is also among the top scuba diving destinations in the world, providing a unique underwater experience. In the crystal clear waters, divers can uncover underwater steam vents and commune with a variety of marine life.
Have the adventure of your lifetime! Visit wonderful Whakatane today.
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