This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Whakatane. To help you make friends with Whakatane before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Whakatane is a town on the North Island of New Zealand located on the coast of the Bay of Plenty. The name itself means "to become a man" and is derived from a Maori story of an incident where a woman commandeered a canoe to safety during a storm when the men had already gone ashore. Women were not allowed to paddle, so this became a huge deal. A statue of the woman was erected down by the waterfront in her commemoration.
One of the most impressive things to do within this region is White Island -- an active marine volcano. You can take an hour-and-a-half (each way) boat trip there and get off and walk around on the island for two hours, exploring with a guide. Whakatane is also well known for its dolphins and seals so you can go swimming with the dolphins if it is the right time of year. Whakatane is also home to some spectacular nature walks and observatories, so there is plenty to explore on a budget.
Hostels in Whakatane are scattered throughout the town. It is a good idea to have your own car to get around, since transport to and from different towns within New Zealand is very infrequent and it can be difficult to get to where you want to go. Your own car will make more of the sights around Whakatane more accessible.
Written by local enthusiast for Whakatane hostelsGlobetrotter