Welcome to The Bay of Plenty
The Kiwi Beach House is just a five minute drive from Opotiki, a small town mid-way along New Zealand's beautiful Bay of Plenty. The coastline stretches from the towering (extinct) volcano, Mount Manganui in the North, several hundred kilometres to New Zealand's spectacular East Cape, famous for its unspoilt beauty and world-renowned wines.
The Bay of Plenty is also an abundant rural area, combining farmed land with thick native bush. With its sheer natural beauty, magnificent coastal scenery and beaches, equable climate, gentle pace of life, and friendly Multi-cultural people, the Bay of Plenty is unparalleled anywhere in New Zealand. The region is also rich in Maori heritage, offering a truly unforgettable experience of 'real' New Zealand.
The Opotiki township is situated on a harbour inlet formed by the junction of two rivers. Bound by these rivers on three sides, the township comprises 309 hectares and the Opotiki District which extends from Ohiwa to Cape Runaway has a population of 8973 (2006 Census of Population and Dwellings for Opotiki District).
The Bay of Plenty is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand renown for its clear blue skies, consistent warm water and fine weather with over 2400 sunshine hours a year. Summer daytime temperatures frequently reach between 26ºC-32ºC, and in winter they average between 16ºC-18ºC with a succession of sparkling hot days and crystal clear starry nights. The climate can be compared to that of California, but here the air is fresh, clean and unpolluted from city smog.
Opotiki is the perfect place to enjoy all year round as the winters are mild and sunny and the summers are never too hot to stop you enjoying the outdoors. The town and surrounding coastal area is sheltered from the cold southerlies that are experienced in many other regions around NZ. In the middle of winter while the North Island's infamous Desert Road can be closed due to snow, you can be soaking up the sunshine and warm weather on the beach-side balcony of The Kiwi Beach House, sheltered by the southerly winds.
This is a great place for the outdoor loving person - anytime of the year.
History abounds as Opotiki's strategic position at the gateway of the East Cape and Eastland made it an important settlement in the early days. That same geographic position makes it the Eastern Gateway to the Bay of Plenty, which enables Opotiki to benefit from the beauties of both areas. Read more about Opotiki's history here.
DUNES TRAIL - EASY, 20 KM (OUT AND BACK)
The Dunes Trail starts at the [Pakowhai ki Otutaopuku Bridge] at Memorial Park Reserve. It meanders along a spectacular 10km stretch of Pacific Ocean coast to Jackson Road and the start of the Motu Road Trail. You get many panoramic views of the sparkling sea, and to White Island (Whakaari) and the East Cape ranges.
This is an easy (grade 2) trail for cyclists, walkers and runners. It's great for children, with many places to access the beach. The trail is undulating with easy gradients. The return journey can be comfortably ridden in 2-3hrs, with plenty of time to stop for a swim and a picnic.
You will find parking at the Pakowhai ki Otutaopuku Bridge and at [Hikuwai], Tirohanga and [Kellys Beach]. There are toilets at the start, in the pavillion in the middle of the park, and at Hikuwai Beach, the 3km point. There's a petrol station store at Tirohanga, 5.5km after the start.
To get to the Pakowhai bridge and start of the trail, get onto to SH35 in Opotiki township. At the northern end of town, there is a roundabout. Head north at the roundabout, on St John Street. From here, you can see the bridge straight ahead. Just after the roundabout, [Motu Trails Limited] is handily placed 800m from the start of the trail. They offer hire bikes, shuttles, secure parking, accommodation and more.
If you wish to add to your Dunes Trail ride, when you get back to the Pakowhai bridge, turn upriver (east) on the 4km Otara stopbank trail. This goes up the Otara River to Te Rere Pa Road. You can also ride the Otara stopbank trail the other direction, most of the way to the Waioeka road bridge, through it's only well-formed for 1km to Opotiki wharf.
You can ride e-bikes on the Dunes Trail, though courtesy to other users is essential please.
There are squeeze gates along the trail, which may be tricky for some children's bikes, and bikes with carriers. Sorry for inconvenience — but the squeeze gates are to stop non-cycle/pedestrian users getting on the trail.