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Kiwi Towns

What’s so great about Okato

  • 2 minutes

Hangatahua Stony River, Okato @Jane Dove Juneau

Okato there are plenty of things to do. Surfing destination with the Kumera Patch, Graveyard and Rockies as calling cards for the initiated to wax the boards and find the breaks. There is a fascinating detective trail for botanists interested in the blue rata tree to find and observe the tree in its natural setting. The Hangatuhua Stony River is a local secret favourite swimming spot to enjoy.

Hempton Hall, Ōkato, New Zealand @Phillip Capper
Hempton Hall, Ōkato @Phillip Capper

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Surfing sweet spots, Kumera Patch, Graveyard and Rockies
  • Hangatahua Stony River swimming holes
  • Very rare Blue Rata trees (scenic reserve)

Okato is a hot spot for surfing locations from Kumera Patch to Graveyeards and Rockies.

‘Moving down along the Surf Highway to the Okato area you’ll start to notice a number of dirt roads branching off the main road. At the end of one of these dirt roads is the first “popular” spot in the area: Kumera Patch, a long point break left-hander that requires you to walk across private farmland but will very likely be worth the mission. It’s considered one of the best lefts in Taranaki and holds swells up to 3m (9ft), working best at low tide.

Just a few more minutes down the highway is Graveyards/Rockies, which consist of three different spots: Graveyards, Rocky Lefts and Rocky Rights. These are all point breaks that come off patches of reef into deeper boulder bays, producing nice barrelling sections as well as manoeuvre-friendly walls. They all work well on low-to-mid tide and are well exposed to any swell with west in it.’

Source Departure Gate: Taranaki, New Zealand.

HANGATUHUA STONY RIVER WALKWAY

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Superb locations for photographing Mt Taranaki
  • Peaceful river swimming holes

The Stony River (Hangatahua) Walkway offers a riverside walk in the surrounds of the Taranaki town of Okato. It begins at Hickford Place and crosses the Stony River Swingbridge to Okato Domain.Walkers can enjoy views of Mount Taranaki and Pouakai Range from the walkway, and Stony River offers plenty of good swimming holes for those who want to cool off.

Hangatahua Stony River,Taranaki, New Zealand @Jane Dove Juneau
Hangatahua Stony River @Jane Dove Juneau

The site of historic Ngaweka Pa can be seen across the river from one section of the track and the walkway is also a popular access point for anglers who fish Stony River for trout (a fishing license must be purchased before fishing). Source Stony River (Hangatahua) Walkway — NZ Walking Access Commission Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa.

BLUE RATA SCENIC RESERVE

LINZ description: Reserve located on the northern bank of Stony River (Hangatahua), west of Egmont National Park.

Blue Rata Scenic Reserve (Saunders Road) Okato, Taranaki. Blue Rata reserve is situated at the end of Saunders Rd close to the boundary of Egmont National Park. The road is a little rough and begins with a stream fording. The reserve is a refuge for the Stony River Blue Rata, a terrestrial form of the common northern rata. The area is rocky, uneven ground, and sturdy footwear is required.

A two minute walk takes you to a blue rata tree, so named because of the purply blue colour of their wood. The track continues on to the Stony River, another five minutes.

NOTE

Hangatuhua, Stony River walkway to Blue Rata Reserve walking distance.

The small settlement has a general convenience store, public toilets in the community domain and sports grounds.

Blue rata tree, New Zealand @geocaching
Blue rata tree @geocaching

WEATHER (BEACH)

SOCIAL MEDIA

Okato, New Zealand @Alison Stephens
Okato @Alison Stephens

POPULATION

  • Less than 600

JUDGEMENT

  • Surfing bucket list destination, botanists and visitors interested in rare plants have the blue rata tree to track down

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.

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