The Whakatane District in the Eastern Bay of Plenty is one of the most diversely beautiful areas in New Zealand. Sandy beaches are predominant along the 54 kilometres of coastline that stretches from Otamarakau in the west to Ohiwa in the east. The Whakatane district has a population of 34,400.
The district is steeped in history and culture. The Mataatua canoe landed at Whakatane and pa sites from early settlement are identifiable along the coast. 40% of the population is Maori and their culture and language is strong and vibrant. Predominant Iwi in the region include Ngati Awa, Tuhoe, and Te Whakatohea.
The district is serviced by excellent air, rail and road transport links. Whakatane is less than 100 kilometres from two large cities, Rotorua and Tauranga. It is less than 4 hours drive from Auckland and Hawkes Bay and 2.5 hours from Gisborne, Hamilton and Taupo. This puts Whakatane within relatively easy reach of about 50% of New Zealand's population.
The Whakatane District has long been a popular holiday destination and tourism is an important growth industry. The population in parts of the district trebles in summer. White Island, an active volcano offshore is a world-renowned tourism attraction. Dolphin watching, deep-sea fishing, trout fishing, walking and tramping make the district an attractive destination for domestic and international tourists.
Whakatane is an attractive coastal town on the banks of the Whakatane River. It has a vibrant retail and commercial area, which includes excellent shopping, cafes and restaurants. Boating is a major part of the culture of this town, and on good days, of which there are many, the boat ramp becomes home to hundreds of trailers as the population goes in hunt of snapper and tuna.
While the majority of the population is based in the coastal areas, there are a number of inland urban areas associated with the district’s farming, forestry and horticultural industries. The District is one of the food baskets of New Zealand, as well as hosting many sustainable forestry plantations.
Whakatane is less than 100 kilometres from the Bay of Plenty's main population centres at Rotorua and Tauranga. Auckland is less than four hours away by road and just 45 minutes by air, while Hamilton is approximately 2.5 hours away.
For more information check out: http://www.whakatane.info/