Boat Fishing

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From Thornton the Rau Rimas and Whale Island are a 10 minute run in flat calm conditions. These islands provide respite if the wind gets up and also good fishing and diving opportunities.

However, most inshore species of fish can be regularly caught well within a 10 minute run of the bar entrance. We do not recieve the fishing Pressure Whakatane does.

The 4 berth boat ramp is well designed and has a relaxed feel. It is preferable to use the 2 births at the north end of the wharf. The southern end is split level and has a steel bar separating them which is not forgiving incase a mistake is made.

Boats up to 7.5m and the odd larger one comfortably navigate the Thornton bar entrance in favourable conditions and tide times. It is a bar that is shallow at low tide. The coast guard advises it to be generally workable 3 hours either side of high tide.

Check out our new fishing video


We show you why bringing your boat on holiday can be relatively easy. Thornton boat ramp is only 200m away and provides close accessibility to 3 renown & successful fishing locations.


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There is good diving around the Rau Rimas and Whale Island. Mainly crayfish and Kinas are the norm, but Mussells and scallops are also found but are a closely guarded secret.

Dive tanks can be filled at a number of spots in Whakatane. Sportsworld, Hunting & Fishing and also Forestland Safety Products.


Surfcasting / Longlining

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There are endless stretches of beach to fish in the region. The first decision is how you are going to access the stretch of beach you wish to fish. There are really 3 options.

1. Bring your quad bike or 4WD and access the area in front of the Park between Thornton and the Tarawera rivers or cross over the river back at the main road and fish to the east.

2. Walk down and surfcast in front of the Park or at the river mouth for Kahawai.

3. If you have a 2WD passenger car head towards Matata and fish along the renknown Matata straights gaining access via the many walking tracks on the side of the road.


River Mouth Fishing

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River Mouth Fishing for Kahawai is probably the most exilerating form of landbased fishing in New Zealand. When the fish are on they are visible in large schoals running through waves as they break on the river mouth.

It can often be a misconception that catching them must therefore be like shooting fish in a barrell. Sometimes this is the case but quite often the right coloured lure or spinner in the right size is required.

You must also be respectful of those who are there already fishing. When there are numbers of fishermen stay in the depth or line of people who are already fishing, ask if you can fit in, or go to any area that has space. Do not cast your lure and line over another persons line and be mindful of the water currents.