Extend That Holiday Feeling In Whakatāne This Autumn
There’s no doubt about it, we all enjoyed a sun-filled summer holiday to round out 2021. The weather came to the party and just as well too, as we all needed a great escape.
But what to do when that blissful summer feeling ends? Keep it going for just a little longer, that’s what. In the Whakatane District, the sun-filled days continue through autumn until the winter chill starts to descend in June. Autumn is the ideal time to visit if you love golf. Whakatāne’s sun-filled golf courses offer crisp, dry greens year- round, coupled with spectacular scenery. A range of both international-level coastal courses and picturesque country clubs offer the chance to explore the diverse scenery of the district.
Spoilt for choice
The eastern bay of plenty is host to six golf courses, all within easy driving distance from Whakatāne or Ōhope. Set between Ohiwa Harbour and Ōhope Beach, with views out to Whakaari/ White Island on the northern side and the harbour wetlands to the south, the
Ōhope Golf Links is rated one of the top links courses in New Zealand. With sandy soils and more sunshine than any other North Island region, the 18- hole course is dry underfoot year-round, offering consistent playing conditions. Greg Turner says this of the course, “The seaside terrain is as dramatic as anything in the British Isles and the views are exceptional. This is links golf to match the very best anywhere.”
10 minutes from town, the Whakatāne Golf Club championship-level course offers another spectacularly scenic game. With fast running greens and lush forgiving fairways, the course provides players of all levels a challenging and rewarding 18 holes.
If you’re after a road trip as well as some great golf, the Ōpōtiki Golf Club course is worth the trip. This picturesque 18- hole course is situated on gently rolling hillside overlooking the coastline and Opotiki township, offering pressure-free golf with tree-lined, undulating fairways. For a more laid-back round, the Te Teko, Kawerau and Murupara courses allow for a relaxing game for anyone who pops in.
Tempt your taste buds
After all that golfing, no doubt you’ll be ready for refreshments. Try out Ōhope’s newest hot spot, Wharfside, for coffee, wood-fired pizza or fish n chips on the harbour’s edge. If you’d prefer something slightly more upmarket, book a table at Fisherman’s Wharf. With a fresh seasonal menu and sensational sunsets over the harbour, consider this a must-do. Head back to the West End of Ōhope and you’ll find local favourites – Moxi, The Quay and Cadera.
Back over the hill in Whakatāne CBD, mouth-watering options include L’Epicerie Larder, Café 4U, White Island Café and Cigol. After meandering along the riverfront Warren Cole Walkway, take time to stop for a drink at The Comm. Now completely refurbished, what was the old commercial hotel gives you a glimpse of Whakatāne from the early 1900’s. If you sit in the back courtyard, you’ll also spot (and hear) Wairere Falls – a sacred landmark of Ngāti Awa, Whakatāne’s first settlers.
If that’s not enough to tempt your weekend getaway, jump online to Whakatane.com for even more reasons to come.