Beachside Hokitika has a cool, quirky vibe fuelled by an arty community, vibrant hospitality scene, and inspiring West Coast landscapes.
5 min, 1.6 km
Known as the West Coast’s coolest little town, there’s plenty to keep you busy (or relaxed) for the weekend in Hokitika.
Local artists, carvers and jewellers make this beachside town ideal for browsing and buying special souvenirs. Check out the iconic driftwood sign and comb the long sandy stretch for a piece of pounamu, washed down the Arahura River.
Finish your day with a tasty meal at one of the local eateries. After dark, thousands of tiny lights illuminate the Glow Worm Dell, a short drive from town.
11 min, 12 km
Head to lovely Lake Kaniere, a short drive from Hokitika.
Framed by lush rainforest and surrounded by picturesque trails (both walking and mountain biking), there’s plenty of scenic spots for swimming and picnics alongside the still waters.
Take a refreshing dip at the pretty Dorothy Falls, or walk part of the West Coast Wilderness Trail through peaceful forest along the fast running water race, once used to bring water to places where gold was mined.
35 min, 36.6 km
Up next, the Hokitika Gorge. An easy 2 km trail takes you on an undulating walk through a contrast of colours — white limestone rocks, deep green forest and the surreal teal waters of the Hokitika River.
There’s plenty of places to stop (including swing bridges) and take in this visual treat caused by glacial deposits from up high in the Southern Alps.
31 min, 39.4 km
Walk through the canopy of towering native trees as the birds flit around you at West Coast Treetop Walkway. Rising to an impressive 47 metres above Lake Mahinapua, the suspended walkway is a surprisingly accessible experience suitable for wheelchairs and strollers, offering sensational vistas of the lake, forest and Southern Alps.
There’s also a 475-metre long zipline that gets up to 60 km p/h as you fly through the forest, landing you back at the visitor centre and cafe.
Stay a while and explore Lake Mahinapua’s tranquil coastal wetland on a sunset cruise or kayak.
2 min, 1.1 km
A stunning place to end your Hokitika escape, Sunset Point is a sandspit between the Tasman Sea and the Hokitika River where locals and visitors go to enjoy fish and chips and spectacular West Coast sunsets.
It’s a five-minute stroll from town, along the sandy beach or on the track next to it. Look out for the “shipwreck” and pounamu pebbles underfoot.