Whakatane just 10 minutes to the East of Thornton is a coastal town of approximately 18,000 people, with another 15,650 people living in the rest of the Whakatane District. According to Maori history Whakatane was the site where Maori first settled in New Zealand some 1000 years ago from their Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki
Being bordered by various ranges and it's coastal location Whakatane has somewhat of a microclimate. Whakatane is often awarded winner of the annual sunshine hours award in New Zealand and is the 2012 winner.
Combine this unique location with sunshine hours makes the area a popular holiday destination.
Alot of the popularity of the area centers around water activities. Swimming with dolphins, whale watching, chartered fishing trips and surfing to name a few.
To complete the regions love affair with the water there is White Island New Zealand's most active volcano, located 48 kilometres north of Whakatane and the regions most popular attraction.
There are also many land based activities in the area for those who prefer it or when the sea is too rough. Bush walks, horse treks, 4x4 tours, hunting trips, helicopter flights, mountain biking are available or simply relax for a while on one of our beautiful beaches.