Posts tagged bopactivities
Discover why Otarawairere Bay at Ohope Beach is one of my favourite playgrounds!

In New Zealand, as the island nation that we are, we’re definitely spoilt for beautiful coastlines. Having recently moved back to Whakatane, I decided to check out some of my favourite ‘local tourist’ spots. Having recently moved back to Whakatane, I decided to check out one of my favourite ‘local tourist’ spots. Otarawairere Bay is a hidden gem just a 15-minute walk from its more famous cousin, Ohope Beach. The bay is easiest to access at the west end of Ohope Beach, and I recommend going at low tide so you can walk the entire length and explore the rocks.. Otarawairere Bay is a hidden gem and just a 15-minute walk from its more famous cousin,
Ohope Beach. The bay is easiest to access at the west end of Ohope Beach, and I recommend going at low tide so you can walk the length of the bay and explore the rocks.

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Coastal Kayaking Adventure With KG Kayaks

A moonlight kayaking tour with KG Kayaks was my introduction to ocean kayaking two years ago. Since then, I have been out on Ohiwa Harbour to check out the little islands - which make great picnic spots by the way! Most recently, I joined him on the Whale Island tour - where we encountered some decent swells due to the Winter months. There was even a curious seal pup swimming alongside us for part of the trip. This blog post covers an awesome morning exploring the beautiful coastline between West End in Ohope and Whakatane.

It’s only been a couple of weeks of New Zealand’s Spring and I officially have a tan line thanks to this adventure. Kenny McCracken, from KG Kayaks, was already unloading the kayaks at West End when I pulled into the car park. His good friend, Jim Robinson of Motu Trails, made up the trio on this morning trip. Both are experienced kayakers so I knew I was in safe hands, besides, we had picked a beautiful day to be out on the water (read ‘very little chance of me falling in’).

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Escape To The Beautiful Karaponga Reserve

Bill Clark and I go way back to my musical theatre days - he is indeed a man of many talents and passions. Today he is my guide to what he describes as the Onepu Project, a collective of activities and experiences in a village just 20 minutes from Whakatane. It’s a place us Eastern Bay locals should know about, or maybe we do and don’t use because of the perceived inconvenience of getting out there. Some people in cities sit in traffic longer every day, I feel pretty lucky to be living here.

I had stumbled upon the Karaponga Reserve when I bumped into a local walking her dog at the Onepu MTB Park. She saw that I was interested in photography and said that the waterfall and hydro-dam walks were a must, especially since they were just down the road. For dog lovers, the Karaponga Reserve is dog friendly. Bill’s dog Lucy took great joy leading us to the waterfall, and I could tell she had been here many times before.

After my morning walk at Karaponga, I’m excited to see this place as it develops over the coming years. Development doesn’t have to have the dirty connotation of commercial agendas - for I see Onepu’s activities enrich our appreciation of the natural beauty of the outdoors. This will require ongoing education and respect of this place. Public spaces - be it urban or rural, require the patience and passions of locals to maintain its beauty and culture.

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Walking The Pakihi Track (Pakihi Rd
To Hut & Return)

I have been planning on walking the Pakihi Track since I came across a photo of the suspension bridge earlier this year. Unfortunately at this time, there is a massive slip that has taken out a part of the track about 300m upstream of the Pakihi Hut, so I couldn’t start my hike from Motu Rd. Instead I walked from Pakihi Rd to the hut and back on the same day. It was still an 18km hike, and was glad to finally make use of the hiking poles I bought as fatigue began to set in on my legs on the way back.

The Pakihi Track is a 20.7km dual use track for walkers/runners as well being a Grade 4 MTB track. Riders can only ride downhill, starting at Motu Rd. Walkers and runners can go both ways. I hope to see the other half of the track once the slip has been repaired - you can keep an eye on the Department of Conservation website for track updates, or head to the Motu Trails Cycleway on Facebook. For shuttle drop off and pick up, make sure to contact Motu Cycle Trails.

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Glow Worm SUP Tour With Rotorua Jetboard Tours

Every month I try to challenge myself to try something new or to take me out of my comfort zone. April, being my birthday month, I decided to try stand up paddle boarding (SUP). What’s more exciting than SUP? A twilight glow worm tour on a beautiful lake of course! I managed to convince eight friends to give it a go too.

I met Nev from Rotorua Jetboard Tours a couple of months ago at the Rotorua Night Market. He and business partner, Matt, had just started and were keen to get the word out, especially to the locals. SUP was one of those activities I wanted to try over the Summer, but never quite happened. Unfortunately Matt wasn’t able to join us on the tour, maybe next time.

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Dune Trail On The Motu Trails Cycleway

Richard and I go way back to mid-2000s, where he was already doing a lot of youth work in our community. Over the years, I would run into him through my graphic design work and teaching dance. He was already a cycling advocate back then, but it’s only recently that I finally took him up on getting me back on a bike. I haven’t been on a bike since 2007 - maybe somewhere in the back streets of Vietnam.

The dune trail of the Motu Trail Cycleway is in the township of Opotiki, about 40 minutes drive from Whakatane. Now, when he told me that we would be biking 9km, I thought he meant in total, not one way! He did give the option to turn around at various points, but I figured I wouldn’t be this way for awhile, so decided to make the most of it.

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Kayaking Whale Island

Rain jackets with hoods up sums up a January summer in New Zealand these last few years. We had a big storm just a couple of days ago, so I knew the water would still be a mucky soup of driftwood, but the rain stayed with us as we kayaked around Whale Island.

Whale Island (Moutohora) is a dormant volcano (although there are active fumaroles) about 9km offshore from my hometown of Whakatane. It is currently a Department of Conservation Nature Reserve, and landing on the island is by special permit only and subject to strict quarantine conditions. Owner and operator of KG Kayaks, Kenny McCracken, is allowed to land on the island, and the tour includes landing on a couple of beaches, which includes Hot Water Beach on Onepu/Sulphur Bay.

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