Gold | Hokitika, West Coast, New Zealand
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There is gold in them there hills! Hokitika was founded on goldmining in 1864 with the largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand unearthed in Ross (south of Hokitika) in 1909. It was as big as a man’s fist and weighed 2.8kgs.

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Cool ideas | Gold

Hokitika's golden history is reflected in many ways throughout the town and surrounding areas. Here are some cool ideas to keep you entertained.

  • Read Eleanor Catton's 2013 Man Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries. Set in Hokitika during the 1860s gold rush, it a rip-roaring tale of murder.
  • Pan for gold at the public fossicking areas near Goldsborough and Ross 'Gold Town'.
  • Do 'A Day on the Gold Trail' - one of our suggested itineraries.
  • Watch goldsmiths at work and talk to them about their designs at their galleries.

pencil drawing of Hokitika in the 1860s with link to The Luminaries webpageiamge of weka at Goldsborough campground with link to Goldsborough webpageimage of Ross 'Gold Town' taken from airplance with link to Ross webpage

image of bench overlooking Lake Kaniere with link to Suggested Itineraries pageimage of man welding gold jewellery with link to art, craft, gallery webpage

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Browse Hokitika places that feature gold

Browse the listings below to see Hokitika places that feature gold.


See & Do

Town Centre Points of Interest Loop - Walk

LOCATION : Hokitika Town

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok 
Time: 1-2 hours
Access: From i-Site or any point along the walk. 
Features: A great way to see the town centre and learn about Hokitika's history and culture. This self-guided walk features Take-a-Seat artseats, public art displays and historical monuments and buildings. Get a town map showing the whole walk and a Heritage Walk brochure which provides information about the historical points of interest. Both available from the Visitor i-Site.

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Tunnel Terrace Walk

LOCATION : Awatuna/Goldsborough

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. 

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Ross Water Race Walkway - Walk


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.

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Blue Spur Bushwalk - Walk

LOCATION : Arahura/Blue Spur

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.

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Londonderry Rock - Walk


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.

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Rimu Lookout - Walk and Scenic Lookout

LOCATION : Rimu / Woodstock

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.

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Art & Craft

The Gold Room

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.

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