Opotiki is the nearest town centre to Whanarua Bay and is a little more than an hour’s drive away. Whakatane, a larger community, is a further 30 minutes to the West.
Opotiki town has a population of about 4,000 with a further 5,000 in the rural farming population. Almost 60% of the population is Maori. Opotiki has a great supermarket, a library, book shop, Post Office, restaurants, chemists, doctors and dentists. It also has a terrific café in Church Street called Two Fish.
Most everyday services can be found in the township, several petrol stations, automotive repair garages, farm supply shops, electricians, plumbers and other maintenance and repair tradespeople. There are several denominational churches. There are also motels, hotels, eateries and camping grounds. There are educational facilities for students at all stages and there is a high school at Te Kaha.
Three free internet zones in Opotiki, are available for public use; a travel shop on Church Street, the Library in Church Street and Opotiki Superette, also on Church Street.
There is also a New World supermarket (freephone 0800 4 NEW WORLD.)
The Information Centres (ISITE) in both Opotiki and Whakataneare great places to visit – people are happy to help with information about activities and where to find services. Opening hours vary according to the time of year but usually open from 9.00am – 4.30pm weekdays and on weekends from 9.00am – 1.00pm. They are usually open for extended periods during the holidays. There is also an iSite in Gisborne.
Phone: 07 315 3031 (Opotiki) and 07 306 2030 (Whakatane) and 06 868 6139 (Gisborne)
For links to all websites see below:
Eastland Couriers provide a local delivery service run by Sam Wirepa. He works between Opotiki and Potaka and does the trip, there and back, every day.
Sam will collect any groceries from New World Supermarket in Opotiki and deliver for $10. He will pick up almost anything you might need from Opotiki. All such pick-ups should be pre-ordered and paid for. He also runs a passenger service.
Phone: 020 4029 5878 or 07 325 2203 .
Passenger Services on State Highway 35 include Bay Hopper, which runs Tuesdays and Thursdays. The service to Opotiki is from Te Araroa to Opotiki return and leaves Whanarua Bay at 9am, arriving in Opotiki in time to connect with the InterCity (bus) Service North at 10.30. The bus starts its return back along the coast at 2.45pm, leaving from the Opotiki I- Site. The cost from Whanarua Bay is $11.20 one way and $22.40 return.
Opotiki Library is located on the corner of Church and Kings Streets and is open 10.00am – 5.00pm Mondays to Fridays, and on Saturday from 9.30 – 12.30. An annual administration fee of $2.00 applies to adults.
There is free internet access and an e-Book facility. The library has a collection of approximately 35,000 books covering adult, young adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction and access to other items through the National Library Interloan system. The Library also stocks magazines and major newspapers.
Film and theatre
The De Luxe movie theatre also serves as a general theatre for live shows, seating 500. The modern mini theatre seats 50 and shows digital movies. The annual Fibre & Fleece exhibition takes place around May – July and is gaining in popularity – it’s a great opportunity for creative people to exhibit and be seen.
Opotiki Police Station
The Police station is at 29 King Street in the centre of Opotiki. Phone: 07 315 1110
The local District Council is active in promoting the district and manages most utilities and facilities at Whanarua Bay including planning permission, rates assessment and collection, street lighting, recycling and rubbish disposal.
Health services nearby
The closest medical centre to Aruhe is in Te Kaha. For emergencies, there is a hospital in Opotiki.
Te Kaha Medical Centre
6680 Main Road, State Highway 35
Te Kaha 3199
Phone: 07 325 2803
Fax: 07 325 2703
Practitioner: Dr Rachel Thomson
Open: 8.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday
After hours: Opotiki Hospital 07 315 8500
There are several dentists in Opotiki. For an emergency, ask your host to check or phone the I-site.