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For a small place, Whakatane has a lot going for it - especially its sparkling waters and beautiful beaches. There are plenty of options for fun and relaxation and it's always a special experience.
Thornton Beach is on the western side of the river from Whakatane and a good choice for a long wild beach stroll to yourself. Enjoy the spectacular ocean and island views. Above all, Thornton Beach is a fisherman’s haven where you can surf cast from shore or use the boat ramp and head out to sea.
For a quick dip on your doorstep, walk out of your accommodation at ONE88 and alongside the river towards the mouth. At the area known as The Heads, there is a small sandy beach behind the rock wall luring you to chill out, soak up the sun or simply do nothing.
New Zealand's best beach at Ohope is a popular beauty spot and it's easy to see why; a long sweep of flawless sand and lapping waves set against a backdrop of gnarled pohutakawa. There is a perfect play area with safe swimming, surfing, picnic spots, playgrounds and toilets as well as nearby eateries.
If you fancy some serious beach eye candy, make the effort to get to this hidden cove which only has walking and boating access. Pack a picnic and your sunscreen and spend the day. Swim, snorkel and gather shellfish. It doesn't get better.
Use Whakatane as your base and head east for the day to explore a line up of unspoilt beaches. Hukuwai Beach is just out of Opotiki. It's sandy, safe for swimming, surfcasting and long-line fishing. Only 3km further is Tirohanga Beach, often described as the gateway to the East Cape. Revel in the power of the ocean and the feeling of sand between your toes. Why go any further?
Photos courtesy of www.whakatane.com.
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The beautiful coastal retreat of Whakatane has lots to offer visitors over the Christmas holidays. Book your Christmas and New Years accommodation with us at One88 On Commerce and you'll find there's plenty to keep you and your family busy.
From the relaxing to heart pumping there is a myriad of holiday activities you can do while in Whakatane. Fishing, sea kayaking, volcano exploring, scenic flights... or simply take a walk on New Zealand's best beach!
Don't miss the Beacon Whakatane Christmas Light Trail, 11-24 December in Pyne Street. Guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit!
There are two special exhibitions on this summer at the Whakatane Exhibition Centre. Over 30 paintings are being shown from the prestigious Fletcher Collection and there's a rare chance to view an important collection of taonga from local Iwi, Whakatohea.
Speed demons get yourselves to Manawhe, Whakatane for two days of spectacular action with Motocross's National Summercross event, 27-28 December.
Browse the vibrant Ohope market, followed by a relaxed evening of music at the Ohope Concert at the Beach - Saturday, 2 January 2016.
Head down to Opotoki on Sunday, 3 January 2016 for the Lantern Festival with Dave Dobbyn and Herbs headlining the event.
And on Saturday, 9 January 2016, the annual Berry Town festival is a fun market day in the centre of Whakatane.
Mount Maunganui (above) is an iconic New Zealand New Year's Eve location and the famous beach is just 50 minutes away via the new express toll road. This year's headline act is Trinity Roots.
Or, you could dance and party the night away at nearby Rotorua's popular GLO Festival Party in the Park.
For a quieter celebration close to home, its hard to beat Ohope Beach for a family picnic, beach rugby and games of spotlight as the sun goes down.
One88 On Commerce is a luxury motel in Whakatane, opened in 2015 offering contemporary accommodation for both business and leisure travellers.