Opononi

           

Sand dunes viewed across the Hokianga Harbour at Opononi. Far North, North Island, New Zealand Sand Dunes, 2Hokianga Harbour
Tobogganing down the sand dune is one of the many activities on offer.
History
About 2 kilometres out of Opononi is a small historic maori settlement of 3Pakanae, and outside the marae (meeting house) stands the monument to Kupe the ledgendary Māori explorer who discovered New Zealand. Kupe is believed to have settled in the Pakanae area before his journey to Hawaiki to start the migration of the Māori people to this land. Making the Hokianga truly the Cradle of New Zealand civilisation.
Four kilometres away, off State Highway 12, is the historic timber settlement of Koutu where the harbour entrance views are fantastic.

Maori Translations
1 Opononi
The place of Pononi
2 Hokianga
Hoki – Return
anga – Face or move in a
certain direction
3 Pakanae
Paka - dried; baked
nae - crop of a bird
4 Whirinaki
lean; slant; slope
General Information
Opononi is in the Far North District of New Zealand. A summer-time holiday spot on the Hokianga inlet, with beautiful pohutakawa trees lining the sandy shore. 'Opo the Friendly Dolphin'  made 1Opononi famous in the summer of 1955-56. 'Opo' played with the locals and tourists, whom visited the area in their thousands just to get a glimpse of this famous dolphin. A statue in Opononi commemorates Opo's time there.

Opononi beach offering fun for family and friends on a hot sunny day. Far North, North Island, New Zealand
Opononi
Family and friends taking the opportunity to enjoy a sunny day at the beach.
Shopping

Opononi has a hotel, restaurant, various accommodation, general store, and food outlets.

Opononi camping grounds. Far North, North Island, New Zealand
Opononi camping grounds.

Oponoi wharf is a great swimming place during those hot days. Far North, North Island, New Zealand
Opononi Wharf
Diving off the Opononi wharf is an enjoyable activity.
Attractions and Activities
From the wharf one can catch fish or take a boat across to the magnificient sand dunes that dominate the scenery, and try sand boarding, or simply relax in the summer sun on the sandy beach. In summer, the Alma(historic century old scow) will take you for harbour cruises and fishing trips. The Annual Axe man Carnival is held each year on the first day of January, as it has for the last 100 years. Also in early January the local Opononi Fishing Competition is held.

Inland from Opononi is the Māori settlement of 4Whirinaki, with beautiful bush clad hills and a magnificent waterfall which can be seen from the road. There is a bushwalk to the falls and into the kauri forests. The start for this walk is at the top of Mountain Road, next to the Okopako Wilderness Farm, which offers accommodation and horse trekking. Five minutes up the road in mid December the Rawene Christmas Carnival takes place, and has been happening for the past seventy years. It is all day affair with a parade at midday , stalls, competitions, rides, arts and crafts, and Santa comes for the young ones. Also celebrated is the Rawene Book Festival, held every two years Rawene celebrates its readers and writers with a festival. Established in 1995, the next Rawene Book Festival and short story competition will take place in April/May 2008.
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