Trish's favourite place to relax is on Ohope's white sand beach.
Name: Trish Green
Position: Senior Communications Advisor
What is your favourite ‘undiscovered location’ in New Zealand?
Ohope beach is in the eastern Bay of Plenty, on the northeast coast of the North Island, six kilometres from Whakatane.
Why is it special to you?
On top of the hill between Whakatane and Ohope there’s a place to pull off the road and take in the fabulous golden beach stretching away towards the East Cape. It’s a magical spot that says ‘kick off your shoes, you’re on holiday’. I discovered Ohope beach when I arrived in New Zealand more than 30 years ago and it’s still a favourite.
Our kids learned to paddle, swim, surf and wriggle their toes to find tuatua at Ohope’s West End, a safe, shallow surf beach. With Whakatane more often than not the sunniest spot in New Zealand, chances are that a few kilometres away at Ohope, the long summer will be fine and the sea warm.
The 10-minute drive from Whakatane descends to the water’s edge. Go left to West End or right for kilometre after kilometre of beach. It starts with a little village of cafes, galleries and ice cream stops. Ten minutes further on lies Ohiwa Harbour, great for swimming, boating and fishing from the beach or wharf.
From the West End there’s a 15-minute hill walk through the trees - or short kayak ride around the point - to secluded Otarawairere beach, another classic pohutukawa-clad beauty spot. The walk is the tail end of the Kohi Point walkway from Whakatane to Ohope, about two and a half hours of native forest, opening out to some spectacular clifftop views. It’s a great walk from town, with the promise of a refreshing dip at the end to keep you going.
Though Ohope has become the favourite beach for many Kiwis, it is surprisingly easy to find a quiet spot for a bucket-and-spade session, beach cricket or a nearly empty stretch for a walk - just you, sea and sky and White Island with its volcanic halo in the distance.
Who did you travel with?
Brother and sister-in-law from England, husband and our big kids, Sally and Tom.
What is your best piece of advice for people visiting Ohope Beach?
Take your shoes off, put your sun cream on and forget about work.
How do you get there?
Fly into Rotorua or Tauranga, both approximately 1.5 hour's drive from Ohope Beach. Alternatively, Auckland Airport is 290km away.