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Jade Country, and Hokitika - the Cool Little Town!
There is plenty to do with a large artisan community, interesting history and mountains, the river, two lakes and the beach nearby.
LocationHokitika, New Zealand
Hokitika has really embraced its beach - to be honest it is hard to ignore, it practically laps the main street. By day, enjoy views of Aoraki/Mt Cook and see the iconic Hokitika driftwood sign. As evening comes, have a bonfire and get a picture perfect sunset shot.
In Hokitika, there are probably more galleries and studios per capita than anywhere in NZ. You can wander around town and watch artists at work. Talk to pounamu and bone carvers, photographers, painters, glass blowers, sculptors, wood turners, potters, jewelers, craftspeople and metal, stone and textile artists. Rest a while on the Take-a-Seat art installations around town.
Just north of Hokitika lies the Arahura River, the birthplace of pounamu, or New Zealand greenstone. Hokitika is a vital stop to learn about the stone and watch it being carved. There are many talented artists creating jewellery and art pieces that will make for a treasured gift back home.