The Top Places to Visit Near Whakatane
A charming town on the shores of the Bay of Plenty, Whakatane offers an off-the-beaten-track base for exploring the region. From the geothermal wonders of Rotorua to the coastal bike trails of Opotiki, there’s plenty to do within an hour’s drive. So, get ready to tick these Whakatane day trips off your bucket list using this guide to the best day trips from Whakatane. What’s more, we even include some guided day tours from Whakatane.
For more trip-planning advice, don’t forget to check out The Complete Guide to Whakatane.
5 Best Day Tours from Whakatane
Before we get started on the self-drive day trips from Whakatane, here’s a quick list of the guided day tours from Whakatane. That way, you don’t have to worry about driving yourself.
- Custom day tours with Terry Tours
- Moutohora Island Sanctuary Tour with White Island Tours
- Cultural tour with NATIVConnectioNZ
- Ohope Harbour or Moutohora Island kayaking tour with KG Kayaks
- Fishing and sightseeing tour with Pacific Coast Adventures.
The Best Day Trip from Whakatane for Budget Travellers
Travel time by car: 40 minutes one-way
After checking out some of the heritage buildings and Maori carvings in the town centre of Opotiki, we recommend hiring a bike and tackling the Dunes Trail. You can also visit the Hukataia Domain to see the culturally significant and impressive feat of nature, The Burial Tree. Plus, if you have more time, venture down State Highway 2 to the historic Tauranga Bridge and its loop track beside the Waioeka River.
For more ideas on what to do, check out the 10 Fun Things to Do in Opotiki.
Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tane Park
The Best Day Trip from Whakatane for Couples
Travel time by car: 1h30mins one-way
Enter a Jurassic-like world by exploring the forests of the Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tane Conservation Park. Hike or mountain bike through the ancient forest, seeing picturesque waterfalls, glowworms, lagoons and an array of native birdlife. It might be one of the longest journeys on this list of Whakatane day trips, but we promise you, the destination is worth it.
Check out the various walks of the Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tane Park on the Department of Conservation website.
The Best Day Trip from Whakatane for Foodies
Travel time by car: 1 hour one-way
Whakatane’s big brother, Tauranga is the largest city in the Bay of Plenty region and an excellent day trip destination. Pop by the suburb of Mt Maunganui to climb The Mount and feel your toes in the sand at the Main Beach or Papamoa Beach. In the city itself, you have a wealth of eateries, as well as the free-entry Tauranga Art Gallery and much more.
Find out more about Tauranga using the 10 Best Things to Do in Tauranga.
The Best Day Trip from Whakatane for Luxury Travellers
Travel time by car: 1h15mins one-way
One of the top tourist spots of the country, Rotorua is famous for its geothermal activity and strong Maori presence. Explore its geothermal parks, indulge in some hot pools, attend a Maori cultural show, or do one of the many adventure activities in the area, including white water rafting and ziplining.
Plan more of your day trip from Whakatane with the 10 Best Things to Do in Rotorua.
Awakeri and White Pine Bush
The Best Day Trip from Whakatane for Families
Travel time by car: 15 minutes one-way
While only a short drive from Whakatane, the surrounding rural settlements of Awakeri and White Pine Bush offer an excellent day out for families or those who want to relax. You have the Awakeri Hot Springs to soak in, fed by natural mineral waters, as well as short walks in the White Pine Bush Scenic Reserve.
See more activities closer to Whakatane with our list of the 11 Amazing Things to Do in Whakatane.