Welcome to Katikati, the Mural Town of New Zealand, and the Gateway to the Bay of Plenty. Katikati is just a half hour's drive from Tauranga, ninety minutes from Hamilton and Rotorua, and two hours from Auckland and Taupo. Come and visit!
'Katikati possesses many special attractions. It is a level plateau about 20 miles in length, bounded on the one side by the Tauranga harbour; on the west It is sheltered by forest clad hills, of which, to my personal knowledge, a good proportion is auriferous, is admirably adapted for fruit growing, and especially oranges and lemons. In summer time the sea breeze starts at about 9 am, the wind veering to the west in the evening, contributing to the salubrity of the district. We enjoy all the amenities of civilisation, including those of religion and education by a happy hospitable community.'
This may sound a little like a tourist blurb, and in a way it was, written by the man many consider to be the founder of Katikati, George Vesey Stewart, and delivered at his farewell address at Martray on July 2 1919. He went on to say:
'The work of special settlement inaugurated in 1874, in which I first entered from a love for adventure, was actuated by an honest desire to better the condition of my fellow man. I feel , from my personal knowledge, I have in many cases succeeded in effecting this. My earnest hope and belief is that the present prosperity of Katikati and her people will continue.'
George Vesey Stewart founded Katikati after having first visited New Zealand. He decided Katikati was the ideal site, and in 1875 brought out from Ireland the first party of 238 settlers on the ship Carisbrook Castle. Over a period of some 44 years Vesey Stewart held many public positions including that of the first elected Mayor of Tauranga. George Vesey Stewart died in 1920, aged 87.
While many of the groves of citrus described by Vesey Stewart have made way for other horticultural enterprises, Katikati itself remains a special town which continues to encourage a diversity of people and lifestyle pursuits, and which prospers still, continuing to be a 'happy hospitable community'.
The Uretara River meanders through Katikati to the Tauranga Harbour.
Bowentown and Matakana and Mayor Islands lie beyond.
Katikati: The town which became an open air art gallery.
Katikati has joined a small group of towns around the world in turning itself into an outdoor art gallery. It started with murals, and has expanded to encompass a wide range of outdoor artwork. Sculptures, installations, poetry all complement the murals.
Barry (left) has become the most photographed member of our community. It's a rare sight to see him sitting alone.
This website won't show you all the murals, (if you want to see them all click here) but it will give you a taste of what Katikati is all about. You really need to come and have a look for yourself.
Katikati: A great place to stop on the Pacific Coast Highway
Katikati's position makes it an ideal base from which to enjoy a wide range of activities and pursuits. River and harbour fishing is only minutes away. So are a variety of bush tracks. Most roads leading off State Highway 2 have river, estuary, or bush access. In less than half an hour you can be in the surf at Waihi Beach, or in Tauranga or Mount Maunganui.
If you're used to the city you might find our only one set of traffic lights a bit disturbing, and the only rush hour traffic seems to be a couple of times a year at the Tanners Point boat ramp. We offer great places to stay for all budgets, some great food, and plenty to do.
Links to other sites in and around the region:
To return to this site from any of the sites listed below close the window.
Visit Katch Katikati's website www.katikati.org.nz
Waihi: Only twenty minutes away and well worth a visit. waihi.org.nz
Tauranga: The hub of the Western Bay of Plenty tauranga.co.nz