The Luxury Guide to Whakatane© Julie Patu - Tourism Bay of Plenty
The Luxury Guide to Whakatane

The Luxury Travel Guide to Whakatane

© Julie Patu – Tourism Bay of Plenty

Plan a Premium Trip to Whakatane and Ohope

Get off the tourist trail and discover where the locals like to go on holiday at Whakatane and Ohope. The coastal town looking out onto a marine volcano and a sanctuary island has many hidden gems to discover. Home to the Ngati Awa tribe, the town is rich in culture experienced through intimate cultural tours, art galleries and more. Stay in lavish boutique motels or glamping experiences and dine at relaxed but rewarding eateries to complete a luxury getaway to Whakatane.

Plan your special getaway to this off-the-beaten-track destination in the Bay of Plenty with this luxury travel guide to Whakatane and Ohope.

Luxury Activities in Whakatane

  • Sail to the wildlife sanctuary, Moutohora Island
  • Fly over White Island, Mt Tarawera and more in a scenic flight
  • Play on scenic coastal golf courses
  • Be inspired at the local art galleries
  • Enjoy an intimate Maori tour at Mataatua
  • Try your luck on a local fishing charter
  • Dive top scuba sites around White Island and Moutohora Island
  • Take a private guided walk through the Whirinaki Forest.

For elaboration on these experiences, see the 8 Luxury Activities in Whakatane.

The Luxury Guide to Whakatane© Tourism Bay of Plenty

Luxury Adventure Activities

On the coast and on the water, there are many ways to experience special outdoor adventures in Whakatane. One of the best-kept secrets of New Zealand is Moutohora Island, also known as Whale Island. The island is a protected wildlife sanctuary home to an array of rare plants, birds and reptiles. Even on the way to the island, you’re likely to spot dolphins, little blue penguins and sometimes whales. There is highly-restricted access to the island, but ProSail offers day charters to the island on their luxurious 38ft cruising catamaran. Alternatively, tours are available with Diveworks and White Island Tours.

Another iconic landmark of Whakatane is White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano. The best way to see the island of billowing steam and colourful volcanic formations is through a scenic flight with White Island Flights. They also offer a double volcano package to fly over White Island and Mt Tarawera!

For those who prefer a more relaxing way to enjoy the great outdoors, the golf courses of Whakatane are a spectacular way to do it. Whakatane is surrounded by a whopping six golf courses, each with their unique charms. Some of the most prestigious courses include Ohope International Golf Club situated on a narrow finger island for a unique array of challenges along with stunning views of the Ohiwa Harbour. The Whakatane Golf Club is another spectacular option providing 18 holes of breathtaking coastal views.

For more ideas for experiencing the great outdoors of Whakatane, see the 8 Luxury Activities in Whakatane.

The Luxury Guide to Whakatane© Julie Patu - Tourism Bay of Plenty

Luxury All-weather Activities

If the weather isn’t cooperating or you simply want to enjoy some of the more cultural aspects of Whakatane, then these all-weather luxury activities are a must!

Immerse in the Maori culture at one of the country’s most famous meeting houses, Mataatua. Enjoy a personal small-group or private tour with the local tribe, Ngati Awa, who will share their legends and customs with you. While a shorter “Express Tour” is available, those looking for a more premium experience should consider the “Cultural Immersion Experience”, including a guided tour of the carved meeting house, interactive cultural workshops, an award-winning light show and a sumptuous feast of Maori cuisine.

While you’re pottering around Whakatane town, be sure to experience the fabulous art galleries. The Whakatane Library & Exhibition (46 Kakahoroa Drive) is a good go-to for local artwork, while boutique galleries like the 4 Artsake Gallery (23 Pohutukawa Ave), Art & Acre Art Gallery (2D Appenzell Drive) and the David Poole Art Studio (137 Harbour Road) are all worth a visit.

For more rainy day activities, be sure to check out the 10 Things to Do in Whakatane on a Rainy Day.

The Luxury Guide to Whakatane© Tourism Bay of Plenty

Fine Dining in Whakatane

Whakatane prefers to keep things casual when it comes to dining, so you won’t exactly find fine dining restaurants in this town. Nevertheless, some fabulous restaurants with good dine-in ambience and delectable food include Roquette Restaurant & Bar (23-29 Quay Street) serving well-presented plates of New Zealand and European cuisine.

Spice Junction (75 The Strand) might not exactly scream New Zealand, but it’s arguably one of the best Indian restaurants in the country. They offer an elegant dining atmosphere with flavoursome dishes from across India.

A casual dining atmosphere paired with fine dining plates can be found at Soulsa Restaurant (14 Richardson Street) with a menu incorporating venison, lamb, steak, fish, duck and vegetarian dishes.

For more restaurant recommendations, check out The Foodie Guide to Whakatane.

More About Whakatane

That’s it for the luxury travel guide to Whakatane. Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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