Katikati, Western Bay of Plenty. Between Waihi and Tauranga. A little town 2 1/2 hours south of Auckland. Lying nestled between the foothills of the Kaimai mountains and the shores of the Bay of Plenty, Katikati is the Kiwifruit and Avocado capital. When the Maori landed on these shores, they stopped and found plenty to nibble on, in the surrounding bush, before hopping back on their waka (canoes) and paddling further to Tauranga. So Katikati means “to nibble“!
It’s a great little town. Set amongst rolling, undulating green hills, I always admire the beauty. So what makes this place special? There is much to do in this little town.
Top Ten things to see and do in Katikati
- The Bird Walk (starts near the carved wooden Humphrey Sea Lion and there are several options, long or short. Notices along the way show what birds can be seen along the waterway)
- The Haiku Path (the walk begins between the Hammer Hardware and Robert Harris coffee shop and can end near SH1 or continue across the road and join with the Bird Walk). Haiku poetry from around the world is etched onto giant boulders along the way.
- Mural Walk (this can be organised at the Library building). Katikati is also known as Mural Town and there are many beautiful murals all around town, depicting legends, history, characters or sea life in the area.
- Bird Gardens (15km south of Katikati is a bird sanctuary and tea house)
- Katikati Naturist Park (if you are into clothing-optional activities and a place to stay, this is the town’s Best Kept Secret!)
- Hot Springs Road Bush Walk (at the top end of Hot Springs Road, follow the bushwalk and see the beautiful big kauri tree)
- Memorial Hall (with a cenotaph listing all the Katikati men who lost their lives in the world wars)
- Katikati Art Gallery (on the side of the Memorial Hall)
- Kati KaiWay (between Fairview and Gilfillan Roads, this is a community project where fruit trees were planted and are tended in order to provide free fruit for the community). There is also a community vegetable garden in the Runanga on Main Road. Kati KaiWay also links up to the new walkway over Wills Road, along the estuary and through a kiwifruit orchard.
- Katikati Museum (housed in the old 1955 Fire Station building, this museum has undergone an upgrade to bring the history of the area to visitors). Entry fee applicable.
On Friday nights, between 4-6pm, there is a great Friday Night Market which has become a regular feature. One can buy anything from local handmade pizza, sausage, cheese, fish, plants, vegetables and fruit! A great place for a chat to stall holders who grow or make what they are selling.
The first Friday of every month, the local Folk Club of Katikati hold a music event in the Bowling Club hall on Park Road. It’s an intimate affair with not more than 50 or 60 in the audience. Entry is $20 a ticket, or $15 for members.
The second Saturday morning of every month, Moggies Market is held in and outside the Katikati Memorial Hall. One can find hand made goods, plants, food, second hand goods and all sorts of interesting bric a brac!
Waihi Beach is a twenty minute drive north-east, a veritable playground for beach lovers. 9km of white sandy beach. On the way, one can veer off to Athenree Hot Springs on the way. This is a special treat in cooler weather.
Katikati boasts several informal eating places; sushi, Indian, Turkish, Pizza, coffee shops and Ambria or The Landing for a sit-down meal.
Katikati Swimming Pool in Carisbrooke Street
McMillan Road Swimming Hole is a wonderful summer hangout to splash and cool off.
Haiku Path Swimming Hole ( walk across the bridge, follow the path toward the uphill incline and veer off along the grass-edged path)
So come on down to Katikati and enjoy yourself!
Jizzy (P.S Let me know if I’ve forgotten something!)