About Whakatane

The Whakatāne 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. Central areas include fertile lowlands and farming areas on the Rangitaiki Plains through to Murupara. Te Urewera National Park in the south, which makes up 41% of the district, is protected native forest and is home to a rich array of flora and fauna.


The climate is superb and many people are choosing to relocate, buy or set up business in a place where life can be enjoyed. Whakatāne records the highest temperature in New Zealand about 55 days of each year. Average annual sunshine is 2332 hours with an average annual rainfall of 1207mm.


The Whakatāne district has a population of 34,400. The largest urban area, Whakatāne, with a population of 20,230, is the major service and administrative centre for the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Whakatane2 Whakatane 1 Whakatane 3 

The district is steeped in history and culture. The Mataaua canoe landed at Whakatāne 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 region is rich in forestry resources and has some of the country’s best dairy farms, along with a large dairy processing plant located at Edgecumbe. The fertile soil of the district supports a variety of horticultural activities including market gardens, apple and kiwifruit orchards and flower growing. Bottling water for export is also an emerging industry.


While the majority of the population is based in the coastal areas, there are a number of inland urban areas associated with the districts farming, forestry and horticultural industries. The district is one of the food baskets of New Zealand, as well as hosting many sustainable forestry plantations.


Whakatāne 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. This puts Whakatāne within relatively easy reach of 40% of New Zealand’s population.