Oakura there are plenty of things to do. One of the world’s biggest surfboards graces the entrance to Vertigo surf shop and sets the laid back beach vibe for a summer favourite destination in Taranaki. Hire a board from Vertigo and hit the beach, the waves and buy a burger from one of the many pop up foodie trucks in town. The town has an interesting art trail, a shipwreck and is satisfying close to the urban heart of New Plymouth for a night on the town.
WHAT TO DO, HIGHLIGHTS
- Low tide walk to the Timaru Reef (rocks near Weld Road surf break) and wonder about the fate of SS Gairloch crew as you view the rusting, twisted frame of the wrecked ship.
- Learn, practice or show off your surfing credentials on the iron sand beach of Oakura
- Estuary paddling for kids in the Oakura River
For active outdoors walkers there are several walks up into the Kaitake ranges. The Kaitake Range is remarkably different from the rest of Egmont National Park with its variety of warmth-loving semi-coastal forest. Check out Lucy’s Gully walking track featuring a 90-year-old Redwoods forest.
- Oakura Arts Trail in October visitors are invited into studios to see artists at work. All year is self-guided trail (see travel pack section for details)
- Butlers Reef: Home, a stalwart in the hospitality scene is the home to regular summer gigs. The hotel is 150 years old and has been entertaining locals forever.
- Tom Cruise stayed in Oakura during the filming of the ‘The Last Samurai’
- “HAWAII BIG ISLAND – EAT YOUR HEART OUT” (informal)
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE?
- Oakura (the river and the town) takes its name from the kuia (elder) Akura-Matapū.
WHAT KEEPS THE PLACE TICKING?
- Proximity to New Plymouth has created a dormitory suburb feel to Oakura with million dollar homes appearing among the beach bach / traditional holiday homes. A flourishing artist community and strong summer visitor destination supports the local economy.
- 1,610 (Jun 2020)
Approximately 8 km from New Plymouth
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about the region check New Plymouth & Taranaki Region nearby attractions and events.
- Meaning of Oakura: Akura was a woman of some distinction who appears to have come from the Cook Islands on the Kurahaupō waka unua (ocean canoe) before transhipping to the Mataatua waka when the Kurahaupō was damaged at Rangitāhua (Raoul Island) in the Kermadecs. After travelling through the North Island, Akura settled in Taranaki and married Okorotua. The full name of the river is Oakura-matapū and honours Akura. The prefix of ‘O’ makes Oakura literally mean ‘belonging to Akura’ source Dennis Ngawhare: Maori place names sing and recall mighty tūpuna and fascinating events