Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in Whakatane

Whakatane District Museum

This impressive museum-gallery in the library building has artfully presented displays on early Māori and European settlement in the area: Māori taonga (treasures) trace a lineage back to the Mataatua canoe. Other d…
Observatory in Whakatane

Whakatane Observatory

Up on a hill top behind the town, Whakatane Observatory offers plentiful Bay of Plenty star-spotting when the sky is clear.
Fish & Chips in Whakatane

Wally’s on the Wharf

Wally knows a thing or two about fish and chips: hoki, snapper, flounder, John Dory and tarakihi – done in the deep fryer, on the grill or in terrific fish burgers. Whitebait fritters in season, and chips that score…
Cinema in Whakatane

WhakaMax Movies

Right in the middle of the Strand, WhakaMax screens new-release movies. Cheaper tickets before 5pm and on Tuesdays.
Modern NZ in Whakatane


A modern waterside restaurant, ritzy Roquette serves up refreshing Mediterranean-influenced fare with lots of summery salads, risotto and fish dishes. Laid-back tunes, lots of glass and mosaics, good coffee and sexy…
Supermarket in Whakatane


Stock up on supplies.
Bar in Whakatane


The sporty Office does what it does well: beer, big meals with chips and salad all over (mains $18 to $32), and live bands and/or DJs Thursday to Saturday nights.
Irish Pub in Whakatane


The Craic is a busy locals' boozer of the Irish ilk, good for a pint or two, or a mug of hot chocolate if you're feeling subpar. Fantastic streetside terrace for sunny afternoons, and solid pub grub (mains $13 to $2…
Cultural Centre in Whakatane

Te Manuka Tutahi Marae

The centrepiece of this recently opened Ngāti Awa marae isn't new: Mataatua Wharenui (The House that Came Home) is a fantastically carved 1875 meeting house. In 1879 it was dismantled and shipped to Sydney, before s…
Live Music in Whakatane

Boiler Room

Whakatane's only club is at the Whakatane Hotel. DJs, live bands and the occasional Kiwi stand-up comic raise the roof. Check the Whakatane Hotel on Facebook to see what's scheduled.