Spring Holidays 2022: Whakatane
My favorite town in the Bay, not as small and rusty as Opotiki, not as big and crowded as Tauranga. Just right, with prominent landmarks (coastal cliff, river, Mt Tarawera, ocean front). Also, life is buzzing with the sun coming out.
Walking the sea promenade. Warm enough for a bath?
This guy thinks yes.
Down at the river’s edge, we find a liliput train, a tourist attraction on Sundays but is also a hobby to the train operators who also do all necessary repairs.
Two steam engines and two electric trains are available, carrying families along the track.
Whakatane, the sheltered harbour.
Downtown: The Whakatane Hotel.
Walking the Strand while our car charges.
The Lady on the Rock statue is widely recognised as a symbol of our region, unveiled at the Whakatāne Heads in 1965 as a memorial to the wife of Sir William Sullivan who was a driving force in Whakatāne during the 20th century. The striking bronze statue atop Turuturu Rock lies at the mouth of the Whakatāne River and commemorates the bravery of Wairaka, the daughter of Toroa, captain-navigator of the Mataatua waka.
Relaxing at the beach.
While the ocean is not very relaxed.
Time for another walk? We chose the Fairbrother’s Loop in the Ohope Scenic Reserve. 1 hour return, it says.
From the beach, where the toilet is, over the highway, into the bush.
Crossing the portal, the spirits may be with us.
Climbing 120 m in dense forest.
Quite a bush walk.
Fern trees, kanuka, beech etc make a great outdoors.
Resting underneath the trees.
They understand each other.
Down to Whakatane on Hillcrest Road.
Quick banana lunch.
What’s that? Can we go there?
Sure thing. It’s Muriwai’s Cave, one of the most sacred places in the area (one of three Maori landmarks). Once over 100 m long but partly collapsed.
Views from Kohi Point Lookout.
Kohi to Moutohora Island.
One last look before we walk back up to the car again.
Tarawera range, where the volcanic activity zone comes from and prolonges through to Whakaari (White Island).
The Whakatane River.
Pou at Kohi Lookout parking.
Pou of a Maori ancestor watching over the region.
That’s what he sees. Could live with that!
Last 50 m run! One, two, giggles!
Ohope Lookout at Otarawairere Road.
Battered mussels from the Oyster Farm at Ohope Beach. Super yummy.
We were here!
But now the sun, that finally got out today, is setting and we’re on our way :) See you tomorrow!