Make a day of it and head to Matakana Island (Te Motutere) for some relaxing hours on white sandy beaches, swimming in the calm harbour, or great surfing on the ocean side.
From the Omokoroa Harbour, jump in a kayak or take the Matakana barge/car ferry which makes return each day*. On Matakana Island you can explore the beaches at low tide, enjoy safe swimming at high tide.
While it's free to visit Matakana Island, be prepared to allow some transport costs, if you don't have your own!
*Note: We don't note ferry prices on our website because the barge/car ferry is a commercial venture mainly taking logging trucks from Makatana Island to the mainland. It does take passengers if required, however as times and prices do change, best to check with them at the wharf. For example, they are closed over the Christmas holiday period re-opening on 14 January (remember they are a commercial venture not a tourist ferry).
After chatting to a nice chap there, he explained there is no public access to the forest as it's completely out of bounds. Therefore should you chose to investigate the Omokoroa Ferry you may be disappointed if you wanted to go to the beaches, as it drops off at farmland - and as the forest comes between the farmland and the beaches, it makes access to the beaches impossible.
See our Things to do in Bay of Plenty map for directions.