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Bronze statue of Peter Snell
Opunake is located in Taranaki Region
Coordinates: 39°27′9″S 173°51′17″E / 39.45250°S 173.85472°E / -39.45250; 173.85472
Country New Zealand
Region Taranaki
District South Taranaki District
Population (2006)
 • Total 1,368
Opunake Hotel
Opunake Beach
Surf Lodge 45
Opunake Mural
Opunake Tearooms.JPG

Opunake is a small town on the southwest coast of Taranaki in New Zealand's North Island. It is located 45 kilometres southwest of New Plymouth. Rahotu is 16 km to the northwest. Manaia is 29 km to the southeast. State Highway 45 passes through the town.[1][2]

The population was 1368 in the 2006 Census, a reduction of 132 from 2001.[3]

The town was settled in the 1880s.[4] It was intended to be a major port but, other than a jetty constructed in 1891, little else was completed.

Opunake is the centre for the local dairy industry, and is also a popular tourist spot, having one of Taranaki's finest beaches. The beach is composed of volcanic blacksand and there are large rock pools to be found on the north-west end of the beach at low tide.

Currently (January 2008) an artificial surfing reef is under construction in the northwestern corner of the beach.

The Opunake and surrounding community has a South Taranaki District Council LibraryPlus, which provides full library and Council related services. Including: being able to register your dog, pay your rates or inquire about obtaining a building permit. Other services include a Tot Time for the under 5s and a regular Friends of the Library meetings. The LibraryPlus also has numerous APN computers, offering free internet and Skype to the public.

A statue of Peter Snell was unveiled on Saturday 19 May 2007 to celebrate the fame of this son of Opunake. Other notable people born in Opunake include former All Black captain Graham Mourie, prop Carl Hayman and former New Zealand Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

Opunake Murals[edit]

From a rich farming history to Māori culture and modern industry, this set of wall murals found along the main road in the town of Opunake, Taranaki give just a little insight into what this region is about.

Assorted Wall Murals called "Reflections of Opunake" 1900 - 2000 Commissioned by the Egmont Arts Council. Designed and Painted by Mural Artist Dennis Lattimer during April/May 2002. Opunake, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand.[5]

Opunake Mural 2012.JPG
Opunake Mural Sea.JPG

See also[edit]


Opunake High School is a coeducational secondary (years 9-15) school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 261.[6] The school celebrated its 75th jubilee in 2000.[7]

Opunake School, St Joseph's School, and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tamarongo are full primary (years 1-8) schools with rolls of 193,[8] 107,[9] and 24,[10] respectively. St Joseph's is a state integrated Catholic school. Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tamarongo is a Kura Kaupapa Māori school which teaches in the Māori language.

All these schools are coeducational, and all have a decile rating of 4 except for St Joseph's School, which has a decile rating of 6.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°27′S 173°51′E / 39.450°S 173.850°E / -39.450; 173.850