The harbour is both beautiful, and under some weather conditions very wild.
Omapere is the more sheltered of the two townships.
In the small township of Opononi, the statue of Opi the famous dolphin stands at the roadside. Opo gives Opononi the town’s name. Opo was a bottlenose dolphin who became famous throughout New Zealand during the summer of 1955-56 for playing with the children of the small town of Opononi on the harbour.
The Opononi hotel is also worth a look. Lots of fishing history.
Hokianga Harbour, also known as The Hokianga River or The Hokianga, is a long estuarine drowned valley and its surrounding area on the west coast in the north.
In the mid 1800’s while the fate of the nation was being signed into history, the axe men of Hokianga scarcely missed a beat. At any one time, as many as 20 ships could be loading Hokianga timber. Whole hillsides, suddenly bared of vegetation, began to slip into the harbour choking its tributaries with mud.
By 1900, the bulk of the forest had sailed over the bar and the little topsoil that remained was turned to dairy farming for butter production. To this day the water the upper reaches of the harbour remains muddy coloured. Given current farming practice over time the water will improve.
The Hokianga is a must on the visit and stay schedule