We did this walk while staying in Whakatane
The track starts off on a road then onto a formed track, through bush then onto the beach. At the top of Kohi Point you’ll get awesome views of Whakatane town, you may even see White Island. On a sunny day in Whakatane, you won’t find a better walk so close to town.
Quick Facts about this walk
- Location: Whakatane, North Island NZ
- Distance: 7 km
- Time needed: 3 hours with one short stop for lunch
- Difficulty: Medium with stairs
- Wheelchair Access: No
- Route: One way, although you can walk back on a loop through the Ohope Scenic Reserve walk
- Elevation: 150m
- Wet Feet: Yes
- Toilets: Yes
- Dogs: No
- Mobile Coverage: Yes
Summary points about this walk
Points of interest along the walk
Start of the Kohi Point walk
Kohi Point is 1 hour and 2.8 km from the start. Start the walk from downtown Whakatane, right behind the big rock in the town centre.
The escarpment steps start on the left-hand side of Rock Pit Gym, (if it’s still going). At the top of the steps, you will be on Hillcrest Rd.
Cross over to the left. It’s a short 2 min walk to Seaview Rd. There is a car park on the left-hand corner with a good view of the Whakatane River and town.
Walk along Seaview Rd for 3 more minutes. Look for the sign on the right-hand side of the road pointing to Nga Tapuwaea Toi Walkway which is on your left.
Walking to Kohi Point
From here it is easy, just follow the track. The first point of interest is only 5 minutes away, Wairere Falls. You will get a better view of the falls from back in town. The falls were used in the early days to power flax and flour mills.
The first 40 minutes is a gradual uphill walk and not a lot to see. At around 40 minutes, you should see the track to the lookout to Toi’s Pa. Worth the 10 m walk to see impressive views of Whakatane and out to Mt Edgecumbe at 821 m or up the coast to Tauranga.
From here on the track levels out a little to Kohi Point with fantastic views of Whale Island. Whale Island is 10 km. White Island is 49 km, and Cape Runaway is 96 km.
You can also look down to the traitorous Whakatane Harbour bar. On a day when the sea is running at 2 Mt swell, you can sit at the entrance to the harbour and watch with excitement as the fishing boats try to navigate the waves.
This section is a sunny downhill walk all the way to the beach, this is the ideal location to stop, sit down have lunch and enjoy the view of the Bay of Plenty.
Look at the rocks down below, what a great place to fish off, fresh Snapper or Kawai for dinner tonight. It is a little steep in parts and countless steps to the bottom, to test out your legs.
The clay surface can be slippery on a wet day, so take care. There is also a small stretch of bush to walk through. There is a steep descent down old wooden steps and steps cut out of the clay, so take it easy down to the beach.
At high tide, you will not make it onto the beach below. Don’t even try; the waves will wash you on the sharp deadly rocks. You will have to turn back. At low tide you can enjoy a walk along the peaceful beach, peeking into rock pools for that trapped fish.
It will only take you 15 mins to the southern end of Otarawairere beach. Otarawairere Beach will be a busy little beach, just follow the people back over the hill to to Ohope.
There is one small sign to mark the track over to Ohope Beach. You should see the wooden staircase going up and across an old slip. Don’t bother trying to walk around the rocks to Ohope Beach it is too dangerous even at low tide.
When you drop down onto Ohope Beach, you can either walk up the beach till you see the surf club building, then walk through the car park to the shops. Or when you walk out onto the beach, cut up to the right and onto the road, and then walk up to the shops.