Mokau is a small town on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island, located at the mouth of the Mokau River on the North Taranaki Bight. Mokau is in the Waitomo District and Waikato Region local government areas, just north of the boundary with the New Plymouth District and the Taranaki Region. Prior to 1989, the town was classed as being in Taranaki, and there is still a feeling that the community of interest is most associated with New Plymouth, 90 km to the southwest. State Highway 3 passes through the town on its route from Te Kuiti to Waitara and, eventually, New Plymouth.
Mokau has a permanent population of about 400, but this swells to several thousand during the summer. It is in the Mahoenui census unit, which had 480 people in 183 households, a median age of 39.5 and median income of $20,700 in 2006. Mokau is a popular location for whitebaiting and other fishing including for kahawai (mainly found at the river mouth) and snapper (which are found right along the coast in several spots).
Mokau also has a couple of outstanding surf breaks that, in the right conditions, can produce waves of up to 6 ft (1.8m).