New Zealand

Large carving and Masonic Hotel in Opotiki, New Zealand

Opotiki is a small town servicing a vibrant rural community. It is the gateway to the East Cape and Eastland.

Some things you can see and do in Opotiki are...

The Opotiki Museum

The Opotiki Museum is a three-storied building in the main street of Opotiki. On the ground floor there is an extensive collection of implements and vehicles. There are displays highlighting saddlery, printing, candle-making, shearing, engineering, the dairy industry and a barbers' shop on the ground floor.

Early pioneer photographs and an exhibition focused on the importance of shipping in early Opotiki occupy the mezzanine floor, while twelve heritage rooms trace history from the arrival of pioneers to the 1930s on the third floor, along with the Whakatohea Research and Archives Toanga (Treasures of the past).

There is a small entrance fee.

Address: 123 Church Street
Open: Monday to Friday - 10am to 4pm & Saturday 10am to 2pm

Shalfoon & Francis Museum

Opotiki's Shalfoon & Francis grocery and hardware store opened in the late 1800s. The store closed in 2000 and is now a wonderful museum. The 100-year-old shelves and original fittings are packed with countless grocery tines and jars. Posters and tin advertising signs promote dozens of bygone brands. This museum is a treasure trove of New Zealand's shopping history.

Address: 129 Church Street
Open: Monday to Friday - 10am to 4pm & Saturday 10am to 2pm

Hiona Saint Stephen's Anglican Church

An Anglican church just across the road from the museums.

A building from 1914 in Opotiki, New Zealand

Hukutaia Domain

The Domain contains over 2000 native species, the majority labelled with pegs stating the botanical name and the common or Maori name. Within the Domain is the historic tree named "Taketakerau." Burial customs of the ancient Maori were complex and in forested areas, hollow trees were sometimes used as protection from enemy desecration. This particular tree was used by local Maori however the bones once there have been reburied. Taketakerau has a girth of 22 metres and is estimated as over 2000 years old.

This native bush wonderland is at the end of Woodlands Road. It is well signposted, just keep left after crossing the Waioeka Bridge coming from Opotiki.

Waiotahi Beach

6km west of Opotiki is Waiotahi beach which extends for kilometres beside the main highway. At the Opotiki end of the beach is the Surf Lifesaving Club and public toilet. With good fishing, surfing and swimming, this beach is Opotiki's most popular one. There is a beach sculpture competition here on New Year's Day.

Art Deco building in Opotiki, New Zealand

Weather in Opotiki

Opotiki appears high on the table of NZ cities with the most annual sunshine. The town is sheltered from the cold southerlies that are experienced in other places though light frosts are experienced in winter. Heavy rainfall can appear at any time though humidity is not a problem.

Getting to or from Opotiki

From Opotiki you can take scenic Highway 35 which goes 335km around the East Cape (known as the East Cape Scenic Route) or you can take Highway 2 which continues south-east through the beautiful Waioeka Gorge to Gisborne (150km). If you have just come from Gisborne, you can continue west from Opotiki to the Bay of Plenty region. Whakatane is only 52km away.

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