Opotiki & Motu
About Opotiki & Motu
The Opotiki and Motu Virtually on Track gem is a diverse playground stretching from coast to hills, across dunes and down mountain valleys, and along turbulent rivers into a placid harbour. The options here are classic do-it-yourself with the wilderness on the doorstep and activities as intrepid as you want to make them, from a gentle ocean beach stroll to a rapid-strewn kayak plunge down the Waioeka River.
Starting in Opotiki township, this Virtually on Track gem is a broad sweep east of town to the end of the Dunes cycleway at Waiaua, up the Old Motu Rd to take in the Pakihi Track and back to town following the Waioeka River. Much of the area is still covered in its original forest cover and in many places the native inhabitants still make themselves noticed – especially the cheeky weka which are a feature of the Opotiki and Motu Virtually on Track gem.
Happy Trails: Visiting Opotiki. Read about Cindy’s experience exploring this gem – Bay of Plenty Times
Opotiki Town and Coast
Opotiki town sits trapped on an island delta where the Waioeka and Otara rivers join just before entering the Pacific Ocean. The town itself boasts an historic precinct which provides an interesting backdrop to a gentle urban stroll while the wharf is a staging point for slightly more robust adventures. With access to both rivers and the ocean, this is the natural place to launch a kayak, canoe or waka, or from which to start out on foot, bike or horseback along the stopbanks which protect the town in times of flood. A short distance along the stopbanks, the Pakowhai ki Otuaopuku bridge crosses the Otara River to join the town to the 10km of white sand beach that stretches in front of the Tirohanga dunes, themselves home to a rare coastal dune system, cycle and walkway. This is a great way to “go east” and explore with extensive Pacific Ocean views, stunning cultural interpretation and enough amenities to keep the gentle and beginner athletes satisfied.
From the coast at Waiaua to the top of the Opotiki District before reaching Motu itself, the Opotiki/Motu Virtually on Track gem showcases its rough diamond nature. This is the pioneering range where farmers continue the daily grind of making a living in the wake of the sawmillers of old. These hills soar to 1000m above sea-level and, apart from the healthy numbers of weka around Toatoa, are mostly the preserve of those on mountain bikes these days. The climbs are taxing but worth the effort, with the ultimate payback being a 20km downhill scoot along the Pakihi track, a bush encrusted jewel of a mountain bike ride or hike.
The Waioeka Gorge forms the third flank of the Opotiki and Motu Virtually on Track gem. With the Waioeka River and the parallel SH2 as its central features it’s an uninterrupted stretch of bush from hinterland almost back to the coast. Regular stopping points along "The Waioeka Journey – Te Awa a Tamatea” make a feature of the gorge’s pioneering past, while also allowing access points for whitewater kayaking and rafting, short walks, longer treks and mountain biking. Closer to the coast the river flattens and, along with the Otara River, offers opportunities for waka ama, stand-up paddle boarding and gentle kayaking.
For more information about the area, what to do, accommodation options go to http://www.opotikinz.com/
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From the Blog
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