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The West Coast whitebait season is 1 Sept to 14 Nov when whitebaiters can be seen lining the Hokitika River. You can even have a go yourself with local net hire available.

Or, just let someone else do the hard work and head to one of the many cafes and restaurants in Hokitika that feature whitebait on the menu.

© juergenschacke.com

Beach Town

Hokitika has really embraced it's beach - to be honest it is hard to ignore, it practically laps the main street.

By day, enjoy views of NZ's highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook and see the iconic driftwood sign. As evening comes, get a picture perfect sunset at Sunset Point and gaze at the stars.

©Matty Saunders Photography

Our Artists

In Hokitika, there are probably more galleries and studios per capita than anywhere in NZ.

You can wander around town and get the unique experience of meeting artists in their working studios. Learn about the creative process, the materials used, the inspiration behind their work and go home with an unique gift.

The Gold Room

Hokitika Gorge

Sometimes you see photos of a tourist spot and think yeah right, it can't look as good as that in real life.

Hokitika Gorge is one of those places. The vivid turquiose water surrounded by lush native bush looks too good to be true - but trust us, it is well worth a visit.

© Tony Meredith

West Coast Wilderness Trail

This 133km, easy Grade 2 cycle trail is one of New Zealand's "Great Rides".

Dense rainforest, glacial rivers, lakes, beach and wetlands. Plenty of options with choices from short half-day rides to a full four day adventure. 

© Craig Wilson

Lake Kaniere

Go for action or just kick back and relax at Lake Kaniere Scenic Reserve.

Surrounded by mountains and only 20 minutes inland from Hokitika, it is popular for picnicking, water skiing, kayaking, fishing, walking, cycling and mountain biking.


Art, Culture & Heritage

Hokitika has had a coloutful past - at the height of the gold rushes in the 1860s it boasted 102 hotels.

Today, Hokitika blends an interesting mix of descendants of pioneers, local Maori, artists and immigrants.

© juergenschacke.com

Lake Mahinapua

Just 10 minutes south of town, Lake Mahinapua Scenic Reserve is a very tranquil place.

It is surrounded by native bush, has numerous family-friendly walks and cycleways, sailing and is a great place for a swim. The water is surprisingly warm.

© Cyril Chan
Get Inspired

Kia Ora! Welcome to Hokitika

Hokitika, cool little town is a 'must-stay' destination on the West Coast, South Island, New Zealand. When you think of the West Coast, you think untamed natural wilderness, genuine experiences and friendly characters that love to share a story. Hokitika is all that and more.

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Why are we a cool little town?

Imagine those fun-filled, relaxed holidays you used to have, then throw in better coffee, a wild beach, awesome sunsets, mountain views and great cafes and galleries.

Whatever you do, don’t rush! It’s common to hear “I wish we had stayed in Hokitika longer. There is so much to see and do.” So stay awhile to enjoy the slower pace of life, have a chat and soak in the view with us.

  • Hokitika has a beachside town centre - the water practically laps the main street! You won't find another town centre like it on the West Coast. 

  • We probably have more galleries per capita than anywhere in NZ where you can watch artists at work. And as the birthplace of pounamu/NZ jade, it is a great place to shop for this precious stone.

  • Hokitika's interesting art, culture and heritage can be experienced first-hand on many walks including the Points of Interest Loop which features historical buildings and monuments as well as public art.

  • There is easy access to untamed, natural wilderness in all directions. Cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail and visit the unbelievably beautiful Hokitika Gorge.


Travel updates

The best place to get current road conditions is on the NZ Travel Agency website.

You can also get general planning information here.

Upcoming Events

There are plenty of upcoming events for the summer season.

Find out more about Hokitika events.

Current weather forecast

See what the current weather has in store. Visit our Hokitika weather page.

Drive Times & Distances

83 km
Arthurs Pass
99 km
Franz Josef Glacier
135 km
253 km
325 km
489 km