Waikokopu is the site of an old whaling station and anchorage for naval ships. An original whale pot can still be seen at Ruawharo Marae.
In the early 1920's a railway line from Waikokopu to Wairoa was built so that heavy iron for the Waikaremoana Power Project could be taken from the ships in the Waikokopu Harbour, to Wairoa, and then by bullock train to Waikaremoana.
After the 1931 earthquake when Swifts took over the Wairoa Freezing Works, and the Wairoa Bar became more of a problem to negotiate, meat was sent to Waikokopu by rail to load onto ships.
Loading ships at Waikokopu was difficult so when the railway line to Gisborne was complete in 1942, Waikokopu reverted to being a small fishing establishment and a base for the servicing of the lighthouse on Portland Island until 1984.
Today, it is still a good fishing and diving spot and boats can be launched from here.
Parking is available on the grass areas. There are also good views of Opoutama, the Whareratas and Māhia.
From Wairoa, take SH 2 to Nuhaka. Continue straight ahead at Nuhaka toward Opoutama 9.8kms past Nuhaka is the turnoff to Waikokopu Wharf on the right, just after going under the railway viaduct. Follow the unsealed road to parking spaces and great views.
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