Oakura and Okato


A bustling seaside community and summer resort location a short 14km drive west of New Plymouth. The town is sheltered from cold southerly winds by the formidable Kaitake Ranges, making it a sought-after residential area and popular beach destination. Once a quiet beach town, Oakura has grown steadily in recent years and now boasts a population of more than 2,000. Actor Tom Cruise was a resident of this upbeat town while filming the motion picture The Last Samurai.


This small coastal town is positioned along the well-known Surf Highway 45, and is only a short drive from some of the best surf breaks in the country. The population sits around 500 and services the wider farming community. Okato is home to the iconic Stony River, the feature of many local paintings and one of the main rivers that stem from the mighty Mt Taranaki.


  • A visit to the Crafty Fox in Oakura, which sells New Zealand made art, crafts and jewellery. 1145 Surf Highway 45. Ph 06 752 7291.
  • See Francois at High Tide for one of the best coffees in town.  Oakura Township 1136B South Rd, Oakura , Open 7am to 2pm
  • Lovers of art do not want to pass through Oakura without investigating the Oakura Arts Trail. Oakura artists are opening up their studios to the public. Enjoy a variety of local talent, workshops, demonstrations and opportunities to have a look behind the scenes or purchase a piece of art.  For more information go to www.oakuraarts.co.nz
  • Just a short drive south of Okato is the breath-taking Cape Egmont Lighthouse at the end of Cape Rd. Discover its story at the Historic Cape Lighthouse and Museum at the end of Bayly Road in Rahotu. Open Sundays & Mondays 11am - 3pm.