Whakatane is the main centre of the Eastern Bay of Plenty, where locals enjoy the best of the climate and lifestyle that New Zealand can offer. The town is only an hour's drive from the tourist city of Rotorua and coastal Tauranga with its major export port. Ohope Beach is less then ten minutes drive over the hill to the east of Whakatane.

Other towns in the Eastern Bay of Plenty include Awakeri, Kawerau, Matata, and Opotiki.