Things to Do in Whakatane for Couples
Breathtaking beaches, blossoming pohutukawa trees and a relaxing small-town vibe, Whakatane makes for an effortless romantic getaway. But how can couples enhance the experience? How about sailing to a sanctuary island, paddleboarding to a picturesque bay or indulging in sweet treats at a French cafe? All of this and more are waiting in Whakatane and Ohope so start planning your itinerary with this list of the best romantic activities in Whakatane for couples.
While you’re here, get more advice from The Honeymoon Guide to Whakatane.
1. Discover Whakatane’s Most Romantic Beach
The sandy shores surrounding Whakatane set the scene for romance, but those on a real honeymoon or romantic getaway can’t miss the most romantic beach of all. Otarawairere Bay is a small cove hidden from sight at the western end of Ohope Beach. Either follow the walking trail over the headlands to get to the pohutukawa-lined beach or paddle on a SUP board around the headland. SUP boards can be hired from Salt Spray Surf School at the western end of Ohope Beach.
Location: Walking tracks are at the west end of Ohope Beach or along Otarawairere Road, approximately 5km (3 miles) from Whakatane town centre.
2. Enjoy a Long Walk on Ohope Beach
Speaking of Ohope Beach, the 11km (9 miles) of undisrupted white sands the perfect place for a romantic stroll, especially at sunset. We list plenty of romantic accommodations in Whakatane that are based along this stretch of beach. More adventurous couples, however, can amp up the experience by learning a new skill together, like surfing with lessons at the Salt Spray Surf School located at the west end of the beach.
Location: The beach has multiple access points from Pohutukawa Avenue and Ocean Road, approximately 5km (3 miles) from Whakatane town centre.
3. Hit the Cycle Trails Together
If two-wheeled adventures are more your thing, then you’re in the right place – Whakatane is the mecca of mountain biking! Enjoy easy-going trails like the Ohope Harbourside Trail to see unspoiled estuaries and birdlife. Similarly, the Warren Cole Walkway can be found in Whakatane town, taking you along the Whakatane riverside and harbour. For something more adventurous, take a shuttle to the Whirinaki Forest mountain bike trails for a true wilderness escape.
4. Enjoy the Views from the Kohi Point Lookout
One of the most stunning viewpoints in the Whakatane area, Kohi Point is raised on the headlands between Whakatane and Ohope. Access is along the Kohi Point Walkway, which is a 2h30min walk to go between Whakatane and Otarawairere Bay or you could simply head up to the viewpoint and return the way you came for a shorter trip. Sit back and enjoy the views of Moutohora Island, the White Island volcano and look out for dolphins leaping in the bay. Check out more places for a romantic stroll in the 10 Must-Do Walks in Whakatane.
Location: Seaview Road or Canning Place, Whakatane town centre. Alternatively, start from Otarawairere Bay (see above).
5. Sail Over to Moutohora Eco Sanctuary
Connect with nature and each other on a romantic trip to Moutohora Island, also known as Whale Island. This extinct volcano is a highly protected island providing sanctuary for rare birds, reptiles and plants. A romantic way to get there is setting sail on the ProSail catamaran yacht with small groups or private charters. Alternatively, join White Island Tours or Diveworks for their informative eco-tours or kayak to the island with KG Kayaks.
Location: Most trips depart from Whakatane Harbour (The Strand) in Whakatane town centre.
6. Buy Your Loved One Something Unique at the Boutiques
You know you’re in a small town when you’re surrounded by unique boutiques and gift stores. With that, Whakatane is the perfect places to pick up unique gifts for your loved one, such as New Zealand-made gifts and fudge at Tui Aotearoa. For a range of interesting homeware, fashion and gifts, check out DiSTiNCT in Ohope. Those willing to get a little off the beaten track will enjoy The Red Barn in Thornton for unique hand-crafted gifts made by local designers and artists.
Location: Tui Aotearoa – 102 The Strand. DiSTiNCT – 19 Pohutukawa Avenue, Ohope. The Red Barn – 237 Thornton Road, Thornton.
7. Enjoy a Romantic Meal Together at Whakatane’s Cafes and Restaurants
When it comes to dining, Whakatane offers casual dining combined with effortless romance. Some of the top dine-in restaurants we list in The Luxury Guide to Whakatane. Otherwise, just to try to resist the aroma of the sweet treats, homemade bread and crepes at L’Epicerie French Cafe. From one European influence to the next, make sure you try out Double Zero for their gelato, homemade pasta dishes, Naples-style pizza and more. Finally, soak in the Ohiwa Harbour views from the Fisherman’s Wharf and try fresh fish and chip. For more eatery recommendations, head to The Foodie Guide to Whakatane.
Location: L’Epicerie French Cafe – 73 The Strand. Double Zero – 108 The Strand. Fisherman’s Wharf – 340 Harbour Road, Ohope.
8. Challenge Yourselves to an Escape Room
For couples who love working together, try Whakatane’s escape rooms at Epic Escape. You have three exciting rooms to choose from with every-changing themes to take you through the experience. See if you and your partner can work out the puzzles and challenges to escape the room before time runs out! What’s more, it makes an effortless rainy ray activity. See more like this in the 10 Things to Do in Whakatane on a Rainy Day.
Location: 88 The Strand, Whakatane town centre.