Whakatane Car Rental Deals
* Some rental car suppliers may charge a credit card fee for amounts payable on arrival.
Car Hire Options at Whakatane Airport
Whakatane is a small provincial airport with limited flights and rental car options. The car rental brand we offer is Hertz and is only available for passengers arriving with rental cars pre-booked.
So arriving on a flight and hoping to book a car at the airport isn't a good idea. You need to book ahead.
If you're wanting more rental company options then consider picking up a rental car in Tauranga or Rotorua. It's a comfortable one and a quarter hours drive from both locations where we have more car rental brands available for your to choose from.
To maximise your savings it's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods. Just put your travel details into the Quote box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices
Maximum Choice. Best Deals.
I tried Mates Rates after reading some positive reviews. Was not disappointed! You can spend a lot of time searching for a rental car, but found the best deal there
Best deal we could find after looking at all the rental car websites.
Quick and easy
Best site to compare car rental prices and get the best offers
Easy, I had no problems at all. Prices seemed to be ok. I didn't check others. Definitely recommend.
Better prices and variety than going direct
Best car hire rate I could find. Recommended to a friend and she said same.
Very easy to use. Really good specials for a run around car. Would recommend.
Easy to compare the different rental companies in one place. Lots of choice which is great. Prices seemed cheaper than other sites including when I looked at booking direct
Second time I’ve used MateRates. Always a good deal.
Great value! I'll be telling my friends.
Glad I found your site – we left things to the last minute and couldn’t get a car at a price that made sense. Problem solved!
We left everything to the last minute and were having trouble finding a car. Then we found your site and got a car in Queenstown at a decent rate. Will tell our friends!
Easy and efficient. Competitive prices with good choices. Worth a try.
Good comparison site. Saves time.
We booked ahead from Germany. Prices very reasonable, and a good choice of cars. Saved us time and money — would use again.
Thanks for making things easy. Found a 4WD for much less than we had seen on other sites, and booked it — no worries.
Whakatane Airport Car Hire Tips
Why it makes sense to rent a car
One of the key reasons for renting a car when you’re visiting Whakatane is the freedom and flexibility it offers.
With a rental car you’re free to explore the beautiful Bay of Plenty at your own pace and on your schedule - not someone else’s.
A taxi into the centre of town will cost you $28 or more, depending on traffic.
Low daily rental rates plus unlimited kilometres means that hiring a rental car is a cost effective option and allows you to make the most of your limited time.
We offer some suggestions at the bottom of the page about places around Whakatane you might want to visit. Having a rental car makes getting to them easy.
Driving from the airport
Whakatane Airport is 10 km north west of Whakatane and just a 10 minute drive into the centre of town.
Once you've collected your rental car, take the road out of the airport for 2 km. Turn right onto Golf Links Road and follow this for 6 km. At Thornton Road turn left onto State Highway 30 and follow this for 6 km, crossing the river into the CBD of Whakatane.
Return with a full tank
Stop at a nearby petrol station and top up the tank before returning your vehicle. The extra 5 or 10 minutes this takes will definitely save you money.
If you return the car with the tank not full then the rental company will charge a high price to top up the tank. These charges can be excessive, such as a $2.50 a litre surcharge on top of the fuel cost. Not a nice surprise to later find this charge on your credit card.
As you can see from the map below there are plenty of petrol stations around Whakatane.
A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Whakatane and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the attractions you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the Whakatane & Ohope Tourism website....
Ohope is a small town and a top holiday destination just out of Whakatane. Its crowning glory is Ohope Beach, a pristine coastal jewel that stretches for 11 km. It’s safe for swimming (with patrols on watch over summer) and surfing, with the western end being especially popular for surfers. Ohope’s gently rolling seas also invite stand-up paddle boarding, even for first-timers and relative beginners.
The north end is close to many walking tracks to explore on foot. At Ohope Scenic Reserve you’ll be treated to the sight of blooming stands of scarlet pohutukawa trees against the hills. Toi’s Track leads back to Whakatane, past ancient pa sites, native forest, bird colonies and coastal views. Or if you head over the headland from the west end of the beach you’ll reach secluded Otarawairere Bay, where you can relax with a picnic or possibly try your hand at snorkelling in the sheltered waters.
The Ohiwa harbour is ideal for fishing and water skiing, while windsurfers can head to the Ohiwa passage. Its offshore islands can be explored by kayak. There’s plenty of bird life to be seen here, with godwits nesting on the shore after migrating from Alaska each year.
While there’s more than enough to keep you occupied in and around the water (and we haven’t even mentioned the fishing yet), it would be amiss not to mention the Ohope golf course. It is one of the top links courses in the country and you will be spoiled by amazing views out to the Pacific Ocean and White Island from the green.
Worked up an appetite? There are a handful of restaurants and cafes to choose from at Ohope, or head back to Whakatane for a wider range of choices.
The township of Ohope is conveniently located just a few minutes’ drive from Whakatane in your rental car. It’s worth an afternoon or even a full day trip.
To experience true Maori culture while in Whakatane you must pay a visit to Mataatua — The House that Came Home. After more than a century spent away from its home, travelling to Australia and the UK, this ancient meeting house has returned to its rightful place. This amazing building is the only Maori meeting house to have gone overseas.
Now rebuilt in its original home, it is back where it belongs with Ngati Awa, a Bay of Plenty tribe. You will be guided personally through the building hearing about its travels and its restoration, and about the tribal ancestors. The building’s intricate carvings are authentic living examples of Maori heritage which you are encouraged to inspect and even touch. It is an intimate, immersive and extraordinary experience in every way.
You can opt for the full marae experience. This ceremonial experience begins with a karakia (prayer), karanga (welcome call) and hongi (greeting with the pressing of noses together). You can also add on a hangi meal for lunch or dinner.
At the end of your tour, the stories of Ngati Awa are further brought to life through an astounding light show facilitated through cutting-edge digital technology. This is called HIKO Legends: Carved in Light and has won an award for its creative approach.
Scenic tours branch out to sites that are mentioned in your marae experience, from the sacred waterfall of Te Wairere to a spiritually significant cave at Te Ana o Muriwai.
You will find the Mataatua Wharenui along Muriwai Drive close to the waterfront.
The Whakatane Museum is spread over two locations. Open seven days a week, the museum and its display galleries are at Esplanade Mall on Kakahoroa Drive. Its collections storage and research centre is found just minutes away on Boon St and it's open weekdays. Entry to both is by donation.
The Whakatane Museum — also known as Te Kōputu a Te Whanga a Toi — is the local arts and culture hub. Close to the river, it includes the Horizon Energy library, the museum and three gallery spaces. The modern facilities are a pleasure to browse.
The Whakatane Museum is all about social and physical history, plus art and technology. With close to a million pieces in its collections, the Whakatane Museum includes a host of Maori treasures from Ngati Awa, Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Rangitihi and Te Whakatohea. The Te Kohika collection is notable for housing items from one of the most significant swamp excavations in the country.
Exhibits are artfully arranged and carefully curated, and include features on White Island and Whale Island, as well as Maori stories and legends (including the origins tale of the Mataatua voyaging canoe), alongside the timeline of European settlement. The galleries have frequently revolving exhibitions featuring contemporary artists.
The museum also boasts a major collection of archival material, including historic documents from around the Bay of Plenty region. Its comprehensive photographic collection is an amazing record of the past century or so of the district, with around 500,000 images from the local newspaper, the Whakatane Beacon.
White Island, also known as Whakaari, is the only active marine volcano in New Zealand. Lying 50 km off the coast from Whakatane, you can see it from the town itself.
The island has experienced dozens of small-scale eruptions since the early 1800s. In December 2019 there was a significant eruption that resulted in the tragic death and injury of visitors on the island. Consequently, there are currently no on-land tours of the island in operation.
There are still several ways to experience the unforgettable sights of Whakaari/White Island, including scenic flights, on-land lookout points and by visiting the Whakaari/White Island Experience Room at the tourist information centre.
Marine life is also abundant around White Island. This means that the area is ripe for fishing and diving, too. Operators offer dive tours and you can charter a boat for a fishing outing, even a multi-day one.