Whakatāne– the sunniest place in the world!*
*that you can travel to right now 🙂
As the rest of New Zealand starts getting their firewood in for winter, Whakatāne’s summer sunshine just keeps on giving.
Officially crowned New Zealand’s sunniest spot in 2020, Whakatāne is arguably the sunniest place in the world New Zealanders can currently travel to without having to quarantine. The Eastern Bay of Plenty hot spot enjoys an enviable climate year-round and autumn is a great time to visit when the summer crowds have dispersed and the sea breeze dissipates to spectacular,still days.
There are plenty of activities on offer too, with outdoor adventures the norm at any time of year. Locals frequent the popular surf break at West End, Ōhope (recently crowned New Zealand’s best beach in an NZ Herald reader poll) right through winter and SUP is popular along the coastline and around Ōhiwa Harbour.
Ōhope local and Whakatāne Tourism Marketing Advisor Anna Williams says getting out on the water is a must-do.
“Ōhiwa Harbour, in particular, is fantastic to explore by kayak or SUP. There are many secluded bays perfect for a picnic and a number of rare birds and other wildlife to spot. If you’re lucky you might even come across a pod of Orca.”
An eco-wonderland is also on your doorstep in Whakatāne, with rich native forest just a stones-throw from Whakatāne CBD and Ōhope Beach. Ōhope Scenic Reserve is home
to over 300 wild kiwi and cause for Whakatāne claiming another accolade as Kiwi Capital of the World™. Anna says it’s not uncommon for nearby residents to hear kiwi calling at night.
“Our world status is due to the number of wild kiwi living virtually in our backyards. Thanks to the work of the Whakatāne Kiwi Trust, our kiwi population has grown remarkably and visitors have a chance to explore kiwi habitat during the autumn months.”
From April to June, the Whakatane Kiwi Trust take guided night walks to hear the call of kiwi and if very lucky, even spotting one. Anna says it’s not just about the kiwi, with all sorts of other interesting creepy crawlies, including Giant Weta, making themselves known in the dark of night.
“This is just a small sample of what’s on offer in and around the Whakatāne and Ōhope area,” says Anna. “Fishing, walking trails, golf and cycling are also popular and must-do’s include, Moutohora Island, a pest-free wildlife sanctuary, and the award-winning experience at Mataatua Wharenui.”
We doubt you’ll need any more reasons to make the trip to Whakatāne in the heart of the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Or just go and simply soak up all that sun.