Interest



Art, Culture & Heritage

The rich history and heritage of Hokitika as well as the vibrant arts and crafts community make Hokitika a place abounding with interesting stories. 

History & Heritage

To say Hokitika has had a colourful past is a bit of an understatement. At the height of the gold rushes in the 1860’s it boasted 102 hotels. Throw in three opera houses and a whole lot of gold miners and it must have been a rip-roaring town. 

  • Gold pan! There are public fossicking areas at Ross or Goldsborough
  • There are also plenty of bush walks near Hokitika where you can still see authentic relics from the gold years including water races and tunnels.  
  • Eleanor Catton's 2013 Man Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries is set in Hokitika. It brings to life the Hokitika of the gold rush era circa 1866. Read it for a feel of what life used to be like for those pioneer gold miners. 

Arts & Culture

Before the gold rush, Maori were heading here for another precious stone - pounamu or NZ jade. And today, Hokitika has probably more galleries and artist studios per capita than anywhere else in New Zealand. The really interesting part is you can meet and talk with them yourself.

  • Wander around town and you will see many at work in their studios. There are pounamu carvers, photographers, painters, gold, silver and copper smiths, glass blowers, sculptors, wood turners and potters. 
  • Visit for the annual Driftwood and Sand Beach Sculpture Event in January to see amazing art made out of driftwood
  • Have a rest of the many Take A Seat installations around town and the beach

Browse the listings below to see what there is to do around Hokitika's history & heritage and arts & culture. 

See & Do

Mountain Jade - Weld Street

www.mountainjade.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 8007 E: jennyk@mountainjade.co.nz

FREE INTERACTIVE GUIDED TOURS DAILY - Learn about the history, formation & manufacture of jade. Mountain Jade has one of NZ's largest selection of quality & affordable Jade/Pounamu carvings & sculptures for you to choose from. A "Must Do" West Coast experience. 

Hokitika Museum Services and Research Centre

www.hokitikamuseum.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 6898 E: enquiries@hokitikamuseum.co.nz

Hokitika Museum at the Carnegie Building was closed in September 2016 due to concerns about the seismic strength of the building. We have moved to 47 Revell St and still museum and research services. Check our website and Facebook for updates, and other information including links to Westland’s wonderful stories and photographs.

Hokitika Regent Theatre

www.hokitikaregent.com
PH: (03) 755 8101 E: manager@hokitikaregent.com

Beautiful refurbished Art Deco Theatre and Cafe. See all the latest movies on the Big Screen with latest digital projection technology and surround sound. Check hokitikaregent.com for movie session times, live shows, other events and online bookings.

SUMMER FESTIVAL EVENT - Driftwood & Sand Beach Sculpture Festival

Date : 25 - 29 Jan 2018
LOCATION : Hokitika Beach

"Driftwood and Sand" for short, is a summer celebration of art on the Hokitika beach. Held annually in late January, participants are invited to express themselves using any materials they find on the beach. And the beach provides some amazing raw materials. The sculpture competition is judged at the end of the festival week and the sculptures are left for all to enjoy until the sea reclaims them. www.driftwoodandsand.co.nz.

Hokitika's Matariki Winter Festival

Date : 1 June to 31 July 2018
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

The Matariki Winter Festival is a series of fun community events, celebrating our cool little town in winter - shows, christmas trees (in June!), a lantern parade to celebrate the winter solstice, star gazing and the inspiring Junk to Funk competition - among others. The festival is a great reason to get out, see the fresh snow on the hills and have some winter fun. 

Hokitika Lantern Parade

Date : June 2018 to be confirmed
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

Each year to celebrate the shortest day/longest night a parade of lanterns makes it way along the Hokitika River. A beautiful event with a bonfire on the beach to finish. Meet at the Custom house 5:30pm. Lantern making workshops available beforehand. Sausage sizzle and hot drinks available as a fundraiser for Playcentre. Details here.

Hokitika Junk2Funk Exhibition

Date : 2018 to be confirmed
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

A fun competition where participants create art and fashion using recycled content. Past participants have ranged from 5 years to over 70 years and around 50 people take part annually. Prizes for many youth and adult categories. Entry forms due by Friday August 11th. Judging morning of hte 26th and event that night. Facebook Page

West Coast Whitebait Season

Date : 1 Sept to 14 Nov 2017 inclusive
LOCATION : Hokitika Beach

Every spring on the West Coast the spawning native trout rush from the ocean back into the West Coast river systems. They are met by throngs of people who stand ready to catch as many ‘shoals’ as possible over the two months of the whitebait season. You can walk along the river banks close to the ocean and discover for yourself what the whitebait means to the local residents. It’s a little like gold fever when the whitebait is "running". Get a taste for it yourself at the many cafes in town. 

Hokitika Heritage Walk

LOCATION : Hokitika Town

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok 
Time: 30 min for quayside and central town features. Longer if you want to see the whole thing
Access: From i-Site & Museum, or any point along the walk. 
Features: Goldrush & river-port town historic heritage sites, buildings & statues. Brochure & information panels bring history to life. Augmented reality is available in some spots so bring your smartphone and get the app. Request a brochure showing the whole walk from the Visitor i-Site. Photo credit: Steve Attwood

Kaniere Water Race Walkway - Walk

LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

EASY / MODERATE
Time: 1 hour return / 3-4 hours one way
Access: Carpark at The Landing at the northern end of Lake Kaniere. Ends at Kennedy Ck near Kaniere Forks Power Station. A shorter easy section from The Landing to Wards Rd (1 hour return) is most popular.
Features: Follows historic, but still used, Kaniere Forks power station water-race, through virgin and regrowth forest. Freshwater mussels, cray and the odd trout may be spotted. Open to mountain biking. 

Mananui Tramline / Mahinapua Walkway - Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY-MODERATE - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 2 hours one way. 6 km
Access: 8km south of Hokitika on SH6. Or start 3km from Rimu on Rimu-Ross Rd
Features: Follows old logging tramway route through a cross section of West Coast bush history. It crosses a diverse range of landscapes including boardwalked wetlands, natural terrace rimu forest and regenerating native forest & pine, eucalypt & monterey cypress plantings. Detour to lakeside Picnic Point along fine rimu-forest ridge worthwhile (40 minute return trip detour to Picnic Point). Open to mountain biking as well. 

German Gully Pack Track & Goffs Track Loop - Walk

LOCATION : Awatuna/Goldsborough

MODERATE 
Time: 1.5 hour loop
Access: Starts at Goldsborough camping area, crosses creek & climbs via German Gully Track to Scandinavian Hill Rd. Turn north here and return by Goffs Track & part of the Goldsborough Track.
Features: Historic goldmining features in regrowth native forest.

Tunnel Terrace Walk

LOCATION : Awatuna/Goldsborough

EASY 
Time: 20 minute loop
Access: Signposted on Stafford-Goldsborough roadside with carpark.
Features: Track enters and exits through old goldmining tailrace tunnels and meanders through old gold workings. Passes through regenerating rimu, kamahi and tree fern forest. A great place to see glowworms at night. 

Goldsborough / Shamrock Track - Tramp

LOCATION : Awatuna/Goldsborough

MODERATE 
Time: 4 hours one way. 8 km. 
Access: Starts at Goldsborough camping area. Ends on Callaghans Rd. Walk back along road or return transport required.
Features: Both ends of track feature signs of historic goldmining, including fine tunnels on Shamrock Ck. The higher portions of the track are one of the best remaining local examples of hill-country rimu & miro forest.

Ross Water Race Walkway - Walk

LOCATION :

EASY / MODERATE
Time: 1 hour loop.
Access: Walk starts from Ross Visitor Centre.
Features: Follows Mt Greenland Rd up Jones Ck & loops back following water race. Replica miner's hut, several dam sites and tunnels. Passes through old Ross cemetery with views overlooking Ross and the Tasman Sea. Goldmining area relics to be seen on walk and at visitor centre.

Ross Historic Cemetery - Walk

LOCATION :

EASY 
Time: 10 min one way
Access: Walk starts from the top of St James Street near Visitor Centre.
Features: Part of the Ross Water Race Walkway. Short zig zags uphill before entering the Cemetery. Interesting headstones and great views.

Blue Spur Bushwalk - Walk

LOCATION : Arahura/Blue Spur

MODERATE 
Time: 1.5 hour loop walk
Access: Carpark on Blue Spur Road
Features: Old Chinese goldmining workings: races, stone walls and shafts in regrowth native forest. Great fun for kids to explore but care required due to steeper sections, hidden drops and shafts. Stick to the track, wear good footwear as parts can be slick.

Blue Spur Tourist Drive

LOCATION : Arahura/Blue Spur

45 MIN TO 2 HOUR 
The Blue Spur Tourist Drive is a loop. Along the way there are two walks, Prossers Bush and the Blue Spur Bushwalk. The Blue Spur Bushwalk features interesting Old Chinese goldmining workings and an information panel at the small carpark. Drive along the terrace before dropping back to the Arahura River where you can read another information panel and learn about pounamu (NZ jade) before heading back south to Hokitika. This trip can be done in reverse too. 

Sunset Point - Walk and Scenic Lookout

LOCATION : Hokitika Beach

EASY 
Time: 5 minutes walk from town centre.
Access: By foot, along beach, beach track, or Quayside section of Heritage Walk. By road via Sunset Point Rd.
Features: Sunsets, sunrises & starry nights. Hokitika rivermouth & beach. Lookout, views of NZ’s highest Mts. Cook (Aoraki) & Tasman (Horo Kawau). Tambo ‘shipwreck’. Information panels. Walks, picnicing, beach fossicking, fishing, & whitebaiting.

Londonderry Rock - Walk

LOCATION : Kumara

EASY 
Time: 10 min one way
Access: Turn off SH73, 1 km east of Kumara onto a metalled road running alongside a water race
Features: Walk passes through stone-fields of old goldmining tailings & manuka forest to huge glacier-deposited boulder, too big for the early miners to move or break.

Rimu Lookout - Walk and Scenic Lookout

LOCATION : Rimu / Woodstock

EASY 
Time: 1 hour loop walk.
Access: Carpark at the top of Rimu Hill, 4km over Kaniere Bridge.
Features: Panoramic views of the Hokitika valley, and access to displays on the gold mining heritage of the area.

Art, Culture & Heritage

Heritage Jade

PH: (03) 755 6514 E: heritagejade@yahoo.co.nz

Featuring Pounamu (New Zealand jade). Call in and see the finest carved pounamu pieces on the West Coast. Colin, our carver, is of Ngai Tahu descent and gathers and shapes this sacred stone himself to ensure best quality. Located opposite Fat Pipi Pizza. 

GiftNZ

PH: 03 755 7448 E: giftnzhokitika@gmail.com

We stock an extensive range of gifts and souvenirs sourced from local artists and throughout NZ to ensure you have lasting memories of your visit to Hokitika. We are locally owned and operated with a central location and open seven days. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Traditional Jade

www.traditionaljade.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 5233 E: traditionaljade@actrix.co.nz

Traditional Jade is a locally owned small family business who are of Ngai Tahu descent. We have top quality affordable Jade/Pounamu carvings and sculptures. Come and visit our friendly knowledgeable team and see one of the biggest raw jade collections in New Zealand.

Gorge Gallery at MZ Design

www.mzdesign.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 7800 E: mzdesign@xtra.co.nz
The Gorge Gallery is located at the workshop and home of MZ Design. We are 20km from Hokitika (down Zuckermans Road) on the road to the Hokitika Gorge. We stock our original design woodware along with special designs unique to our gallery. We are open when the Flags are displayed.

Hokitika Glass Studio

www.hokitikaglass.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 7775 E: hokitikaglass@ihug.co.nz FREEPH: 0800 178 445

Glass blowing-designer art forms. View master glassblowers handcrafting glassware, art glass, giftware, souvenirs, tableware & glass beads. All available from our large showroom. Open 7 days.

Hokitika Craft Gallery

www.hokitikacraftgallery.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 8802 E: gallery@hokitikacraftgallery.co.nz

This special gallery is a co-operative of local crafts people and artists. It is owned and operated by members who make unique designs to the highest standards. The gallery features New Zealand Jade, Bone, Wood, Pottery, Fibre, Silk, Flax and Art. Open 7 days 8.30 - 5.30 (Winter 9.30 - 5.00). Come and meet the makers!

 

Westland Greenstone Ltd

PH: (03) 755 8713 E: westlandgreenstone@xtra.co.nz

Established in 1962 and proud to be following the tradition of manufacturing and selling exclusively genuine NZ jade. Watch our craftsmen at work in our bright and welcoming showroom. Choose from top quality jewellery, ornaments, Merino Possum, Icebreaker Merino clothing, paua products, NZ Skincare and much more. Our expert friendly staff will help you buy with confidence. Open 7 days.

Mountain Jade - Tancred Street

www.mountainjade.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 8009 E: jennyk@mountainjade.co.nz

Come visit our friendly, knowledgeable staff and view the large selection of Jade/Pounamu jewellery and sculptures. Something for everyone at great prices. Open 7 days

The Gold Room

www.thegoldroom.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 8362 E: shop@thegoldroom.co.nz

NATURAL GOLD NUGGETS. As found, natural West Coast gold nuggets & flakes sourced from present day gold mines. Watch our jeweller working with the as found gold, creating beautiful gold nugget jewellery. Hold a large gold nugget in your hand and experience the amazing weight of gold. Studio & Gallery Open 7 days.

Wilderness Gallery

www.wildernessgallery.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 7575 E: juergen.schacke@gmail.com MOBILE: 021 184 0917

Discover highest quality, purely New Zealand made art, giftware and jewellery alongside the local colours of the West Coast captured by renowned wildlife and landscape photographer Juergen Schacke. The fresh and inspiring Gallery is a fantastic way to take in and take home the spirit of the region. "Highlight of Hokitika", "Amazing Gallery" are only two of many excellent tripadvisor review headlines. Open 7 days.

Shop

The Possum People

www.possum-nz.com
PH: (03) 756 8090 E: sales@possum-nz.com

A Sales/Workroom. Extensive range of NZ Possum Fur products including exclusive fur garments: boots, hats, collars, bed throws and our own line of Possum, Merino, Cashmere luxury knitwear & accessories: clothing, gloves & socks. Lightweight and warm, easily laundered, great prices. 40 years in the trade. Open 7 days. 

Take Note Hokitika Bookshop

www.takenotehokitika.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 8167 E: takenote.hokitika@xtra.co.nz

Booksellers, Stationers & Rare West Coast Books. Top selling West Coast, NZ & international books, magazines & papers. Book-finding & mail order for new & rare books. Guidebooks, maps, postcards, stamps & travel games. Open 7 days.

Accommodation

Teichelmann's Bed & Breakfast

www.teichelmanns.co.nz
PH: (03) 7558232 E: book@teichelmanns.nz MOBILE: 0277558232

‘History... With a Touch of Class’. An historic, character house centrally located in Hokitika. Welcoming, friendly hosts. Recommended in Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Frommers & Fodors. King size beds, ensuite bathrooms, Spa bath ensuite, Garden Cottage, substantial breakfasts. Walk to cafes, restaurants, galleries and beach. Experience a stunning West Coast sunset. Moderate Tariffs.

Seaview Lodge & Kotuku Hostel

PH: (03) 755 5230 E: seaviewlodge@xtra.co.nz

Seaview Lodge, to sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the Southern Alps, the sunset and the Tasman Sea. We can accommodate up to 20 guests. Seaview also has spacious areas for tents, powered and unpowered campervans.

View Your Trip
Hokitika Cool Little Town