Whakatane is one of those places that have everything. The weather, beaches, facilities and services are all at hand, and yet Whakatane is a relatively small community. Opotiki is in the shadow of Whakatane, and Whakatane is in the shadow of Tauranga, but increasingly less so.
Wkakatane is also a young town and with the exception of the wharf area everything is ‘new’ and fresh, somewhat representative of the town.And, is represented the striking appearance of the Catholic Church.
The port of Whakatane is the launch location for the White Island cruises, and the owners of White Island manage access. This only ship to shore contract is with a Whakatane company; Pete’s Cruises. Any air excursions are out of Rotorua.
The town has a population of 18,700, with another 15,700 people living within the greater Whakatane District.
Whale Island is the small island off the Bay of Plenty coast about 12 kilometres north of Whakatane. The island has numerous Maori sites. It also provided shelter for James Cook's Endeavour in 1769. The Museum gives good account to the early history of Whakatane.
A whaling station existed on the island during the 19th century.
Whakatane is great place to visit. Allow a min of two days.