Te Pāpaka & Puketapu

Bay of Plenty

On the clifftops behind the town are a pair of ancient Ngāti Awa (fortified village) sites – Te Pāpaka (The Crab) and Puketapu (Sacred Hill) – both of which offer good outlooks over Whakatāne. Puketapu has the better view over the town centre and river mouth. Both tracks start from a small car park at the lower end of Seaview Rd – Puketapu (two-minute walk) heads straight up the hill; Pāpaka (five minutes) begins immediately across Hillcrest Rd.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bay of Plenty attractions

1. Wairere Falls

0.11 MILES

Tumbling down the cliffs immediately behind town, tall, skinny Te Wairere occupies a deliciously damp nook. It once powered flax and flour mills, and it…

2. Pōhaturoa

0.14 MILES

Beside a roundabout on The Strand is Pōhaturoa, a large tapu (sacred) rock outcrop capped with pohutukawa trees, where birth, death, war and moko (tattoo)…

3. Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi

0.27 MILES

Attached to the library, this impressive museum and gallery has artfully presented displays on early Māori and European settlement in the area. A gourd on…

4. Mataatua

0.28 MILES

Mataatua is a large, fantastically carved 1875 wharenui (meeting house) that is the centrepiece of Te Mānuka Tūtahi marae (traditional meeting place). A…

5. Whakatāne Observatory

0.32 MILES

On a hilltop behind town, this observatory offers abundant Bay of Plenty star-spotting when the sky is clear.

6. Muriwai’s Cave


This shallow, partially collapsed cave once extended 122m into the hillside and was the home of Muriwai, a famous seer and sister of Toroa, captain of the…

7. Lady on the Rock

0.79 MILES

A whimsical 1965 statue of local heroine Wairaka stands proudly atop a rock on the mouth of the Whakatāne River.

8. Awakeri Hot Springs

8.37 MILES

About 16km from Whakatane on the road to Rotorua (SH30), this old-fashioned holiday park has a large thermal mineral pool, two smaller children's pools…