Ohope is a small township just over the hill from Whakatane and is a popular holiday destination for thousands of kiwis' every year. During the summer months Ohope is usually swarming with beach goers, holiday makers and people just wanting to escape the busy cities and daily grind of the work force.
Ohope beach is one of New Zealand's most loved beaches and it's not hard to see why; This flat white sandy beach stretches for 11km from Ohiwa wharf to West End, which is a popular surfing area during the summer months.
If you don't own a surf board, nor do you know how to surf but want to experience the waves, there is usually a surf lessons tent opposite the car park on the side of the road at West End; head on up over there and I'm sure the guys can help you out with making the most of the Ohope surf. Ohope beach is perfect for families, as it's not a far walk for small legs and the sand is great for building castles or sand-snow men if you're wishing of a white Christmas.
The beach is extremely easy to access as it stretches parallel to many roads along Ohopes' beach front, park up your car on the side of the road, take a few steps and you're on the beach! It's not hard to find a place to park your car as at the end of West End Road there is plenty of parking as well as a waffle cart and public toilets (Don't worry, those facilities aren't attached).
Fun Fact: The beach has a beautiful view of White Island, which is an active volcano situated 48km from the coast in the Bay of Plenty and has been in the continuous stage of smoking since it was discovered by James Cook in 1769, so don't worry if you see it spewing puffy white clouds.
If you do ever make a trip to Ohope to spend the day at the beach, you need to stop in at Hui Bar and Grill for lunch. It is situated in the block of shops at the bottom of the hill coming from Whakatane.
I had lunch at Hui Bar and Grill twice while I was staying in Whakatane for the first week of this year.
The service was great with such friendly and down to earth waitresses and the food was definitely worth the wait and it wasn't short on taste. I tried the chicken burger and fish burger, both of which were absolutely delicious and very fulling. I can't tell you much else about what was in the burgers as I was more focused on eating it than studying it, but I would head back to Ohope just for them!
I ordered a bowl of kumara chips which were accompanied by aioli and chutney, my partner has never been the biggest fan of kumara yet he absolutely loved these! they were so sweet and crispy. We couldn't finish the rest after our burgers so we asked for a doggy bag, couldn't just leave them behind!
The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, so if you turn up for lunch on a beautiful summers day make sure you get a table outside; on table just near the entrance to the toilets there is usually a bottle of sun block on it for customers to use, so make sure you slip, slop, slap and wrap!
Quite often they have live music playing throughout the evening and into the night, so if you're in the area and want to grab a drink with mates head on over to the bar to enjoy a night with great night!
A play at the beach and lunch at the grill made for a great summers day out; 10/10 would recommend this bar for anyone who is thinking of visiting Ohope, be it summer or winter. Make sure you check out their website for news and updates!
P.s. my mouth is watering just thinking of the Kumara chips!