The territory extends from Te Taumata-ō-Apanui (between Tōrere and Hāwai) to Pōtaka. The 13 hapū are situated along the narrow coastal strip between the Raukūmara Range and the eastern Bay of Plenty.
The tribal saying is:
Mai i Taumata-ō-Apanui ki Pōtaka
Ko Whanokao te maunga
Ko Mōtū te awa
Ko Whakaari te puia
Ko Apanui te tangata
Ko Te Whānau-ā-Apanui te iwi.
From Te Taumata-ō-Apanui to Pōtaka
Whanokao is the mountain
Mōtū is the river
Whakaari is the volcano
Apanui is the ancestor
Te Whānau-ā-Apanui is the tribe.
Whanokao Mountain is situated in the Raukūmara Range, south-east of Te Kaha, near the border between Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāti Porou tribal territory. The mouth of the Mōtū River is at Maraenui. Whakaari (White Island) continues to be significant to the people.