Opotiki 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, which follows much of the coastline of the East Cape and terminates in Gisborne.
Opotiki is 30 minutes drive east from Whakatane, which is the best bet for car hire.
NakedBus has daily services to Auckland and Gisborne.
BayBus. Probably the cheapest way to get around the Bay of Plenty.
Services may change so check websites for more details.
The nearest airport with scheduled passenger flights is at Whakatane. Rental cars are available at the airport.
All car parking is free.
- Fibre and Fleece Fashion Show, De Luxe Theatre, Church St. 9–11 July.
- Opotiki Rodeo, War Memorial Park grounds. Held every December, usually on the 28th, attracting cowboys, cowgirls and families from all over New Zealand.
- Waiotahi Beach (5–10 minute drive west of Opotiki on State Highway 2). Patrolled by lifeguards 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.
- Horse Trek, end TeWaiti stream road, Urutawa Forest, Opotiki, ☎ . 4-6 hours treks up the pristine TeWaiti stream to the TeWaiti hut. Advance bookings only. http://www.bushaven.co.nz/bushaven/Horse_Trekking.html
- Hiking. http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/east-coast-hawkes-bay/waoieka-urutawa-walks.pdf
- Opotiki Golf Club, 4 Fromow Rd, Hospital Hill (off SH2 from Whakatane, turn right before crossing the bridge to town), ☎ . 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.), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Summer: 10am, noon, 2pm. Booking required.
- Hukutaia Domain, Woodlands Rd (8 km from Opotiki). 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.
- Motu Trail Cycleway, ☎ . Mountain biking path commencing in Matawai. The Cycleway has two options; for a challenge you can descend down the remote and historic Pakihi track, while those looking for a more leisurely ride can cruise down the Motu Rd to connect with a new dedicated cycle track through the sand hills, along the beach and into Opotiki. Free.
- Opotiki New World, 19 Bridge St, ☎ . 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 and chips stores in the town.
- Bushaven, end TeWaiti stream road, Urutawa Forest, Opotiki (Off Otara road), ☎ . Comfortable assorted accommodation and camping right in a native bush reserve. Set in native bush within the Urutawa Scenic Reserve alongside the pristine TeWaiti stream yet only 20 min. from sunny Opotiki or 30 min. to the beach. A range of accommodation including a five bedroom house, Love shack, bunkhouse, small baches and a small campground with full utilities. All have decks and use of BBQs. Several walking, tramping and mountain biking tracks are very close by including www.themotutrails.co.nz. Swim in clear unpolluted pools of mixed depths (you choose) we have hundreds. Take a gentle stroll up the TeWaiti track or branch off to a side track for a bit of a challenge, also great for mountain bikes. Sit back in the evening, enjoy a drink and BBQ while listing to the native birds. Take one of our guided tours for something real special. Check out the glow worm just up the track. Maybe you just come and do nothing, that can be great as well. from $15 - $350.
- Opotiki Information Centre, 70 Bridge St, ☎ . Also the home of the local Department of Conservation office.
- The drive to Gisborne around the East Cape on State Highway 35 features spectacular ocean views and remote settlements. Allow 8 hours on the road. Then return to Opotiki on State Highway 2 via Matawai and the Waioeka Gorge. Allow 11–12 hours on the road for the round trip.