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Kiwi towns

What’s so great about Matata

  • 2 minutes

Matata beach @Whakatane

Discover Matata, a town that has to move due to climate change yet retains a community spirit. Birdlife galore in the Matata lagoon, sand spit estuary and classic DOC campsite in the Bay of Plenty.

Matata DOC camp @kiouwes
Matata DOC camp @kiouwes

WHAT TO DO, HIGHLIGHTS

  • Matata white sandy 10m beach offers visitors stunning views of Rurima (Turtle Island), Motuhora (Whale), and Whakaari (White Island)
  • Surfcast fishing off the beach for snapper and gurnard.
  • Safe swimming within the sandbar where there is shallow tidal water
  • Matata beach is framed by southern headland cliffs and pohutukawa trees.
  • Whakatane is 20 minutes drive along state highway 2
  • Matata Lagoon is a great place to stretch the legs

Matata Lagoon 1 km walk showcases birdlife with superb news of the islands of Moutohora and Whakaari/White Island and views down the East Coast. For those wanting to bird watch there’s a shelter to sit in and observe the birdlife. Birdlife includes the elusive Matuku/Australasian Bittern or Mātātā/Fernbird. No dogs.

There is a general store, art & craft store and a hotel.

NOTE

  • The beach has steep drops and can be hazardous for swimmers
Matata Lagoon @DOC
Matata Lagoon @DOC
Matata beach @Whakatane
Matata beach @Whakatane

FAME

  • Mark Dobson awarded World of Wearable Art prize in Weta Workshop Costume and Film Section for his fish skin garment

WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE

  • From Tauranga pull over and soak up the views of pumice cliffs against the sea and sand
  • Matata Lagoon

TOWN SLOGAN

  • Tyres forming a pontoon named ‘Taiwha’ or the dragon of Matata

STAY

  • Accommodation doesn’t come any better than a classic family camping ground. Murphy’s Holiday Camp | A family business since 1965. Stay ranges from 6 classic cabins and 2 self-contained cabins. The cabins range from 2 – 6 berth, all containing fridges, stoves, hot & cold water and a fully equipped kitchenette. The self-contained cabins also include a toilet and shower. Powered and non-powered sites. Open only in the summer months from November to March.
Murphy's Holiday Camp @shanesalter Murphy's Holiday Camp @shanesalter
Murphy's Holiday Camp @shanesalter Murphy's Holiday Camp @shanesalter
  • Matatā conservation campsite: Matatā area Department of Conservation family campsite in a coastal setting with excellent fishing and swimming next to the Matatā wildlife refuge. No dogs are allowed. Booking is required. The site is on the beach, it doesn’t get any better for a beachside location, complete with few people, space aplenty and birdlife.
Matata conservation campsite Matata area @DOC Matata conservation campsite Matata area @DOC
Matata conservation campsite Matata area @Spaceships Travel Matata conservation campsite Matata area @Spaceships Travel

WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE NAME

  • Matata means “dividing waters”. Before the Rangitaiki Plains were converted into pasture the Rangitaiki River flowed into the Tarawera River

POPULATION

  • Approximately 600

JUDGMENT

  • Kiwi classic summer holiday, check out Murphys Campground vintage photos for proof.

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

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