1 Bedroom apartment
1 Bedroom apartment
Dishwasher *Microwave *Fridge/freezer * Waste-master *Washing machine *Dryer *Sky TV *DVD player *CD player
|See More Room Types|
Check availabilty of Ohope Beach apartments. Reset your dates in the red box.
Excursion to volcanic White Island by boat (full day) or helicopter (half day)
Scuba Diving expeditions around the base of White Island – full day
Visit Te Urewera National Park – full day
Whale and dolphin watching cruise – half day
Tour wildlife sanctuary Whale Island – 4 hours
Spend all day lazing on the beach
Auckland – Ohope, 4 hours
Rotorua – Ohope, 1.5 hours
Hamilton – Ohope, 2.5 hours
Just a few minutes drive over the hill from the town of Whakatane, Ohope Beach is a quiet spot. The perfect place to take time out for a few days. It has 11 kilometres of beautiful white sand and is safe for swimming. It's an ideal playground for families and during the summer season, Whakatane Surf Lifesaving Club lifeguards patrol the beach. West End is a favourite with surfers and is also an access point to the beautiful Otarawairere Bay, one of the most picturesque beaches in the area. Many people come to this area to visit White Island, the active volcano just 48km off the coast. There are not many volcanoes in the world so easily accessible, making this one of the “must do’s” in the region.
History and Culture
The story of the coming of the Maori to the Whakatane area is shrouded in the mists of time, but the oral traditions of the tangata whenua (people of the land) make it clear that the region was settled by a series of migrations over several hundred years. The first inhabitant, more than 1,000 years ago, was Tiwakawaka, a grandson of Maui, the legendary voyageur and discoverer of Aotearoa. Tiwakawaka's people had lived in Kakahoroa (later to be named Whakatane) for some generations before the arrival of the famed Toi, founder of numerous tribes (Te Tini O Toi - the multitude of Toi) that occupied much of the North Island's East Coast, Taranaki and the Far North.
Toi's people married into the original settlers and from his stronghold - Kapu-te-rangi (one of the oldest known pa sites in New Zealand) - above Whakatane, his sons Rauru and Awanuiarangi in turn went forth to found tribes of their own. Some 200 years later came the waka Mataatua bringing the kumara.
Following the directions of his father, Irakewa, the Captain Toroa, his brothers Puhi and Taneatua, sister Muriwai, son Ruaihona, daughter Wairaka and other members of his family sailed to Kakahoroa, mooring in the river estuary near the town's current commercial centre. The men then climbed the hillside to Kapu-te-rangi, leaving Mataatua in the care of the small group consisting mainly of women. The outgoing tide was threatening to carry away the waka when Wairaka exclaimed: "E! Kia whakatane au i ahau" (let me act the part of a man). In breach of tradition, the women paddled the canoe back to safety and from this incident, Whakatane received its name.
Some time later, Toroa and Puhi fell into dispute over the planting of the kumara and Puhi and some of his followers departed in Mataatua for the Far North where he founded the Nga Puhi tribe. Again, Toroa's people intermarried with the Tangata Whenua and from them descend the Ngati Awa, Tuhoe and Te Whakatohea iwi, which remain the guardians of the mana whenua (spirit of the land) of the Eastern Bay of Plenty region to this day.
European settlement began in the 1830s when whalers, sealers and later missionaries and traders made their homes here. The area became a major shipbuilding centre and the vessels were used to carry maize, potatoes, wheat and flax to other northern population centres for sale or barter. Although most Eastern Bay of Plenty Maori took no active part, the area nevertheless became embroiled in the New Zealand land wars during the 1860’s and 70’s. In 1869, the famed fighting chieftain Te Kooti raided the town, razing its few buildings. This led to the stationing of a unit of armed constabulary in Whakatane and the construction of a defensive redoubt on the promontory above the town centre.
With the advent of more peaceful times, industrial and agricultural development continued, that process accelerating from 1910 onwards when work began to drain the swamplands of the Rangitaiki Plains. Reclamation in Whakatane also created new land for residential and commercial development.
Agriculture remains an economic mainstay, but since the 1950s, plantation forestry and wood processing have also become increasingly important. In latter years, tourism too has taken on an important role as more and more people have come to appreciate the region's rich heritage, wonderful coastal and bush resources and outstanding climate.