Attractions

Historic Building in Whakatane

Mataatua

Mataatua is a large, fantastically carved 1875 wharenui (meeting house) that is the centrepiece of Te Mānuka Tūtahi marae (traditional meeting place). The remarkable story of 'the house that came home' is told in th…
Museum in Whakatane

Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi

Attached to the library, this impressive museum and gallery has artfully presented displays on early Māori and European settlement in the area. Some of the Māori taonga (treasures) travelled from a distant Pacific i…
Waterfall in Whakatane

Wairere Falls

Tumbling down the cliffs behind town, picture-perfect Te Wairere occupies a deliciously damp nook, and once powered flax and flour mills and supplied Whakatane’s drinking water. It's a gorgeous spot, and goes almost…
Cave in Whakatane

Muriwai’s Cave

This partially collapsed cave once extended 122m into the hillside and was the home of Muriwai, a famous seer and brother of Toroa, captain of the Mātaatua waka (canoe). Along with Wairere Falls and a rock in the ha…
Viewpoint in Whakatane

Te Pāpaka & Puketapu

On the cliff tops behind the town are a pair of ancient Ngāti Awa pā (fortified village) sites – Te Pāpaka (The Crab) and Puketapu (Sacred Hill) – both of which offer sensational (and very defensible) outlooks over …
Landmark in Whakatane

Pōhaturoa

Beside a roundabout on The Strand is Pōhaturoa, a large tapu (sacred) rock outcrop, where birth, death, war and moko (tattoo) rites were performed. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed here by Ngāti Awa chiefs in 1840.…
Statue in Whakatane

Lady on the Rock

A whimsical 1965 statue of local heroine Wairaka stands proudly atop a rock on the mouth of Whakatane’s harbour.
Hot Springs in Whakatane

Awakeri Hot Springs

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 and six private spas.
Observatory in Whakatane

Whakatane Observatory

Up on a hill top behind the town, this observatory offers abundant Bay of Plenty star-spotting when the sky is clear.