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.
The town has a population of 1,360 (June 2016).
The town was settled in the 1880s. 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.
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.
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.
Opunake High School is a coeducational secondary (years 9-13) school with a roll of 336 students as of July 2017. The school celebrated its 75th jubilee in 2000.
Opunake School, St Joseph's School, and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tamarongo are full primary (years 1-8) schools with rolls of 185, 111 and 16 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.