Cool Little Town | Hokitika West Coast New Zealand
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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.


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

Home of Pounamu

For a small town, Hokitika struck it big in the resources stakes.

Before the gold rushes, Maori were heading here for another precious stone - pounamu. Just north of town, the Arahura River is the home of pounamu - also known as greenstone or New Zealand jade.

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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Choose Hokitika as your 'must-stay' West Coast destination

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.

But 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.

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Cool Ideas | Top things to see and do in Hokitika

Here are some top local picks of things to see and do:

  • Visit the driftwood strewn beach - 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.
  • Learn about Hokitika's interesting art, culture and heritage. It 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, visit Lake Kaniere and Lake Mahinapua, and see the unbelievably beautiful Hokitika Gorge.

image of bird sculpture on beach with link to Hokitika Beachimage of Seddon statue with link to Art, Culture, Heritage pageiamge of pounamu pendant on beach with link to pounamu (NZ jade) webpage

image of Tambo memorial on Hokitika Beach with link to walks pageimage of bicyclist in front of Hokitika driftwood sign at sunset with link to Cycling pageimage of Lake Kaniere with link to Lake Kaniere page

image of Lake Mahinapua with link to Lake Mahinapua pageimage of Hokitika Gorge with link to Hokitika Gorge pageimage of Lake Kaniere with link to Suggested Itineraries page

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Browse Hokitika

Visit these pages to learn more about what is on offer in Hokitika and start planning your stay.

image of woman on Hokitika beach with driftwood sculpture and link to see and do webpageimage of glass penguin with link to Shop webpageimage of dinner plate with link to dining webpage

image of interior of accommodation with link to accommodation pageimage of Hokitika Beach Access sign with link to Plan webpage


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