Hiking trails. The native forest reserves around Whakatane provide a range of bushwalks and hiking trails. The 6-km (4-mi) walkway called Nga Tapuwae o Toi ("the footprints of Toi") is named for a descendant of Tiwakawaka, one of the first Māori to settle in New Zealand. In total it takes about four hours, it's also divided into eight shorter walks that take you past historic pā sites, along the coastline and the Whakatane River, around Kohi Point (which separates Whakatane from Ohope), and through the Ohope and Makaroa Bush Scenic Reserves. These shorter sections range from one to three hours. No guide is necessary, and most tourist operators and the information center in Whakatane stocks free trail maps. The trailhead is on Canning Place, behind the Whakatane Hotel on the corner of George Street and the Strand. Follow the steps up the cliff and you'll be at the beginning of the trail. For an easier wander (30 minutes round-trip), start at the west end of Ohope Beach and head over to Otarawairere, a delightful secluded cove. Some trail crossings depend on the tidal schedule, so be sure to check low-tide times or you might end up swimming across! Canning Place, Whakatane.
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