Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand’s South Island, 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. Read on to discover the best ways to pass your time in this beautiful scenic area.
1. Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve
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Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve is one of those picturesque locations that hits the right note in your senses and make you feel good upon arriving. The intense turquoise water enclosed by lush inherent bushes looks out of this world and are well worth the visit. Situated 33 km (20 mi) from Hokitika, the Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve is home to the worlds’ best white water adventure kayaking, established amongst granite ravines and stunning bushes. Drive half a day through the picturesque loop and circle back to Hokitika after appreciating the Gorge via Lake Kaniere and Dorothy Falls, to enjoy the excellent views of the turquoise waters of the Hokitika River as they passes through the rock sided Hokitika Gorge.
Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve
Address: Kokatahi 7881, New Zealand
Website: Hokitika Gorge
2. Westcoast Treetop Walk and Cafe
An exciting treetop adventure amid moderate rainforest titans. Participate with nature high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Get easy admission for all to relish along a steel platform 20 meters (66 feet) high during a leisurely hour long stroll through the stunning West Coast rainforest tree tops.
A distinctively wild and delightful destination, the Westcoast Treetop Walk and Cafe recharges, refreshes and lets you appreciate great local foods in the ease of the Mahinapua Cafe, snuggled beside the serene Johnnies Creek. The cafe is open for business daily from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm during the summer and 2:00 pm during winter.
Westcoast Treetop Walk and Cafe
Address: 1128 Woodstock-Rimu Rd, Hokitika 7812, New Zealand
3. Wilderness Gallery
If you adore nature, you cannot miss visiting this gallery. There is way too much quality art like photography, metal art, watercolor paintings and many other medias to divulge in! A fresh, modern gallery situated in the center of Hokitika, it’s the picture-perfect place to learn the colors of the West coast.
At the Wilderness Gallery, Juergen’s spectacular photography is accompanied by a variety of exclusive handcrafted jewelry, woodenware, pottery, statues and figurines, created by selected New Zealand artists. The Wilderness Gallery is open all days from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm to overload your sensory involvement of the spirit of the West coast.
Address: 29 Tancred St, Hokitika 7810, New Zealand
Website: Wilderness Gallery
4. Hokitika Beach
Roughly sprinkled with driftwood and conceiting gorgeous sunsets and sights, the Hokitaka Beach is a vision of beauty. By day you can take a stroll, appreciating its beauty with overwhelming sights of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki and Mount Cook. Hokitika Beach is a cause of motivation for photographers, painters, sculptures, metal artists and glass blowers, all reflecting the beach in their work. Annually in January, the Driftwood and Sand Beach Sculpture Festival inspires artists to create sculptures from what they can find on the beach, which is then reclaimed by the ocean after the festival.
Address: Gibson Quay, Hokitika 7810, New Zealand
Website: Hokitika Beach
5. Sunset Point
A remarkable vantage point, and the best place to watch the sun’s light disappear. The sand is incredibly fine and soft, allowing a great walk along the beach. Watching the roaring waves, relaxing and admiring the driftwood sculptures on the beach as the sun goes down creates and awesome setting. Share your place with the seagulls and enjoy the fish and chips of New Zealand.
Address: Gibson Quay, Hokitika 7810, New Zealand
6. Lake Kaniere Scenic Reserve
Lake Kaniere is one of the most stunning lakes in New Zealand and presents an occasion for numerous water sports. There are also quite a few picnic places, a camping zone, and numerous short walks. Lake Kaniere Scenic Reserve offers a treasure-trove of outdoor activities for family and friends to experience, whilst getting easy access to nature. It houses one of the two lakes in Hokitika and is a popular summer destination for swimming, water skiing, kayaking, fishing and picnics. During the winters you can admire the majestic snow-capped peaks, making this spot a year round destination.
Lake Kaniere Scenic Reserve
Address: Lake Kaniere, Kokatahi 7881, New Zealand
7. Hokitika Museum
This is an enjoyable museum where you can learn the history of Hokitika. The museum presents you the history through highlights in a 15-minute Greenstone & Gold audio-visual experience about Hokitika and the Gold Rush. You can check out interesting photos of Tangata Whenua and Pounamu, the Giant Meccano dredge and items from the past. The museum building is an interesting structure and the design is partly administered by the original design. The Hokitika Museum is located in the heart of Westland and contained in the historic Carnegie Building. The jagged and secluded West Coast has a captivating history of adventure and fortitude, that you can experience all by yourself or with your family.
Address: 17 Hamilton St, Hokitika 7842, New Zealand
Website: Hokitika Museum
8. Dorothy Falls
A distinctive multi-step waterfall, Dorothy Falls is situated in the Lake Kaniere Scenic Reserve, less than an hour drive away from Hokitika. The waterfall can be seen from the car park as well, with a closer approach possible. Regardless of the struggle to take a photo of the entire waterfall, the fall is very striking and picturesque. There is a nose-dive pool in the area, which is popular with swimmers during the summer.
9. Westland Industrial Heritage Park
Senior men and their workshop takes on a new meaning here in the Westland Industrial Heritage Park in Hokitika, a treasure trove of fully operating machines used in farming, timber mills and gold mines. Get a quick guided tour of the park by Mort Cruickshank and learn and admire the great collection of the historic possessions of Hokitika and Westland.
A tour for the grease monkey in you, the Westland Industrial Heritage Park is sure to astonish you with its collection of large operating diesel engines alongside a collection of West coast fire engines, horse drawn wagons, Westland’s stage coaches, and steam and internal-combustion haulers officially used in the Westland bush.
Westland Industrial Heritage Park
Address: Industrial Road, Hokitika 7810, New Zealand
Facebook: Westland Industrial Heritage Park
10. The National Kiwi Centre
The National Kiwi Centre, located in the centre of Hokitika, in a hidden facility that provides observation of kiwis in their nocturnal house, that imitate their natural habitat. Check out the eccentricity of the kiwi, who has evolved over millions of years of seclusion from the mammals. Throughout your visit, you can volunteer to feed the giant eels that are aged between 85 and 100 years and move on to feed the kiwi. Feeding times are specific and during lunch hours, so check with the attendants for more details. You can also view the tuatara, New Zealand’s oldest living dinosaur in the centre.
The National Kiwi Centre
Address: 64 Tancred St, Hokitika 7810, New Zealand
Website: The National Kiwi Centre
Take home fantastic tales of the West Coast
The nonchalant little civic on the West Coast of the South Island, Hokitika is a dwelling to heighten your well-being through the captivating history of the West Coast. Explore and perceive the ship relics, the gold miners and ‘pounamu’ trackers that existed in this stunning coastal area. There’ll be lots of stories for you to take home if you are a history buff, with the township serving as an inspiration and setting for numerous New Zealand novels.
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