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Bay of Plenty : Opotiki
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Opotiki [7] is a small coastal town in the Eastern Bay of Plenty on New Zealand's North Island. It is the starting point for State Highway 35. SH35 follows much of the coastline of the East Cape and terminates in Gisborne.

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Get in

Opotiki is 30 minutes drive east of Whakatane.

By plane

  • Air New Zealand, [1]. has five direct daily flights to Whakatane, four from Auckland and one from Wellington with a flight time of 45 minutes. Rental cars are available at the airport.

By car

Whakatane is 30 minutes drive away and is your best bet for car hire.

By bus

Intercity Coachlines [8] stops outside Hot Bread Shop illy Cafe, 43 St Johns Street. Daily services are:

Auckland via Whakatane, Rotorua and Hamilton 10:30am. Gisborne via Matawai 4:45pm

NakedBus [9] Has daily services to Auckland and Gisborne

BayBus [10] Probably the cheapest way to get around the bay

Services may change so check websites for more details.

Get around

All car parking in Opotiki is free.


  • Fibre and Fleece Fashion Show, De Luxe Theatre, Church St, Opotiki. 9th/10th/11th July.
  • Opotiki Rodeo, War Memorial Park grounds, [2]. Held every December usually on the 28th this rodeo event attracts cowboys, cowgirls and familys from all over New Zealand.


  • Waiotahi Beach, (a 5-10 minute drive west of Opotiki on State Highway 2.). This beach is patrolled by lifegaurds in summer and is a great place to swim, fish or relax. Every New Years Day (1 January) there is a beach sculpture competition. $5 per team, register by 9:30am. See the Opotiki information centre website for further event details.
  • Fishing.
  • Horse riding.
  • Hiking.
  • Opotiki Golf Club, 4 Fromow Rd, Hospital Hill (Located off Sh2 from Whakatane, turn right before crossing the bridge to town.), (07) 315 7415‎, [3]. A well maintained 18 hole, 70 par course. Basic equipment hire available.
  • Motu River Jet Boat Tours, (35 mins east from Opotiki along Highway 35. Turn left immediately after crossing the Motu River Bridge. On your left at the riverbank will be the red coloured Motu River Jet Boat.), [4]. Summer: 10 am, 12 noon, 2 pm. Booking required. Email: [email protected]
  • Hukutaia Domain, Woodlands Rd (8km from Opotiki), [5]. 4.5 Hectares of ancient native forest that is full of birdlife. There are several short tracks all of which will take you past Taketakerau - a giant Puriri tree that was used by a local maori tribe as a burial tree. This magnificent tree is estimated to be over 2000 years old. Free/Donation.


  • Opotiki New World, 19 Bridge St, (07) 315 6723‎. The only large supermarket operating in Opotiki. Stock up on supplies here before heading around the isolated East Cape.


Opotiki has several fast food outlets, mainly Chinese takeaways. For good Kiwi food visit one of the Fish N Chips stores in the town.




  • Opotiki Information Centre, Cnr St John & Elliott Street, Opotiki, (07) 315 3031, [6]. has some information about the region.

Get out

  • The drive to Gisborne around the East Cape via State Highway 35 features spectacular ocean views and remote settlements. (Allow 8 hours on the road.) Then return to Opotiki via State Highway 2 and the Waioeka Gorge. (Allow 11 - 12 hours on the road for the round trip.)

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