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Interest



Family Fun

Hokitika is a great place to visit as a family. You can have a holiday like you used to have, but with better coffee!

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image of families swimming, jumping from the jetty at Lake Kaniere, Hokitika

Playing at the jetty - Lake Kaniere: ©juergenschacke.com

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Cool ideas | Things to do with kids

Some locals' tips to enjoy your trip with the kids.

  • Scour the beach for interesting tidbits.
  • Try an easy walk, some can accommodate strollers or buggies. Top choices for kids include the Tunnel Terrace Walk at Goldsborough and the Jum Michel at Lake Mahinapua.
  • Lake Mahinapua and Lake Kaniere for swimming, walks and picnics.
  • The Kawhaka Dam along the Old Christchurch Road or the Hokitika river mouth are good for fishing with the kids. 
  • Go for an easy bike ride on the West Coast Wilderness Trail.

Driftwodo bird sculpture at Hokitika Beach with link to Hokitika Beach webpageimage of girl walking through tunnel with link to Walks webpageMen on pier at Lake Mahinapua with link to Lake Mahinapua webpage

People playing at jetty Lake Kaniere with link to Lake Kaniere webpagetwo people fishing and surfcasting at Hokitika Beach with link to Fishing webpagecyclist at Hokitika driftwood sign during sunset with link to Cycling page

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Browse things to do with kids

Browse the listings below for family friendly activiites, places and things to do with kids in Hokitika.

 

See & Do

West Coast Treetop Walk & Cafe

An exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rainforest giants. Experience life with the birds high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy.

Easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform 20 metres high and over 450 metres long.

Gently sway in harmony with the forest on the Mahinapua Springboard. View the exquisite Lake Mahinapua through the richly diverse forest foliage.

Thrill seekers will feel their heart pump and the adrenalin rush as they climb to the top of the Tower 47 metres above the forest floor.

Be inspired by a sensational vista of the majestic snow-capped Southern Alps, Lake Mahinapua and the Tasman sea.

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Email Phone
PHONE
03 755 5052
FREEPHONE
0508 8733 8677
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Carnegie Building

Built in 1908, the historic Carnegie building currently houses a number of the district’s museum exhibits and treasures. Located in the heart of Hokitika, the building is easily accessible to visitors and entry is free. Come and explore our region’s colourful history!

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(03) 755 8497
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The National Kiwi Centre

Guaranteed viewing of kiwi in their nocturnal house and New Zealand's living dinosaur, the tuatara. Discover West Coast creatures like whitebait, crayfish and many more. Participate in our giant eel feedings at 10am, 12 noon & 3pm, the Kiwi are feed after the eels. Catch & release a freshwater crayfish in our indoor lake area! Open 7 days, 9am to 5pm in summer & 9.30am to 4.30pm in winter.

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(03) 755 5251
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Hokitika Regent Theatre

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.

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(03) 755 8101
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Westland Industrial Heritage Park Open Day

Every 3rd Sat of the Month

A Working Machinery Museum.  Family friendly with free entry. Open most days. Engine Startup and Open Days Third Saturday of the month. A group of dedicated volunteers restoring artifacts from Westland’s Industrial past to running condition for public display. Allow an hour to visit to enjoy the collection.

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West Coast Whitebait Season

1 Sept to 14 Nov 2018 inclusive

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

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Hokitika Junk2Funk Wearable Art Show

1 Sept 2018

A fun competition where participants create art and fashion using recycled content. Create a wearable garment for the SprinG! fashion show or a single accessory for "Gone Fishing..."  exhibition. Multiple prize categories. Facebook Page

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Hokitika Retailers Market

Nov 2018 dates TBC

Every year, local retailers bring their wares onto the streets for a festive Retailer's Market Day. A day of deals, live entertainment and fun. Browse and find that unique gift for Christmas.

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Hokitika Christmas Parade

Dec 2018 dates TBC

The annual Christmas parade is always a good day out. Join our community in celebrating the festive season.

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Christmas at the Beach

Dec 2018 dates TBC

A fun annual event on the beach to celebrate Christmas. Features food, family fun, games and live music. The big bearded fella Santa will call in for a lollie scramble and some photos too.

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Hokitika Gallops Interislander Summer Festival

Jan 2019 dates TBC

The annual Interislander Summer Festival event at the Hokitika Gallops are sure to be a great way to unwinde with friends and family after Christmas. There is plenty of exciting harness racing action on-course, great entertainment for the whole family including 'Fashion in the Field'. 

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Kumara Races

Jan 2019 dates TBC

A good old-fashioned country horse race meeting. The main race, the Kumara Gold Nuggets boasts a real gold nugget as the prize. This is a fantastic family day out and draws a huge crowd to soak up the entertainment and carnival atmosphere. There is something for everyone – betting booths, fantastic races, best dressed competitions, live music, candyfloss and even clowns. 

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West Coast Kahawai Fishing Competition

Jan 2019 dates TBC

An annual fishing competition. Fish anywhere on the West Coast with spot prizes and heaviest fish prize to be won. The weigh in is at 6pm 20th Jan at the Kaniere Empire Hotel. Entry is Kids $5, Adults $15 and can be gotten at Wild Outdoorsman and Kaniere Empire Hotel in Hokitika and Fishing & Firearms Greymouth. More information here

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Driftwood & Sand Beach Festival

Jan 2019 dates TBC

"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.

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Westland A&P Show

Jan 2019 dates TBC

The annual Westland A&P Show is a great family day out. Entertainment, rides, livestock, wood chopping events and much more. http://westlandapshow.co.nz/

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Lake Mahinapua "Have-a-Go"

Feb 2019 dates TBC

The Lake Mahinapua Aquatic Club celebrates national Volvo Sailing and Boating Week with its annual regatta. The weekend includes racing for yachts big and small followed by 'have-a-go' sessions for members of the public from 3pm Saturday and 12pm Sunday. 

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Lake Kaniere Scenic Triathlon

March 2019 dates TBC

This annual triathlon highlights the scenery around Lake Kaniere. A fun event with lots of choices - duathlon, triathlon events with either swim or boat, individual and team events. More information at http://www.lakekanieretri.co.nz

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Children's Day

3 March 2019

This annual event sponsored by the Hokitika Lions Club celebrates New Zealand's national Children's Day and is a must do for families. The event in Cass Square of Hokitika is believed to be the largest one on the South Island and all activities are FREE! Toys, games, mazes, entertainment, horse and fire truck rides, petting zoo and more.  

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Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

9 March 2019

This is without a doubt a very unique food festival! Up to 11,000 people can descend on Hokitika for a weekend of fun and food. Tempt your tastebuds and challenge yourself. Each year a new range of exciting foods are up on offer including worm truffles, live huhu grubs and possum pie. But don't be frightened there are some standard fare items as well including lamb, steak and of course whitebait! Entertainment is as good as it gets with multiple stages and there’s roving entertainment all day long. www.wildfoods.co.nz

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Hokitika Lantern Parade

June 2019 dates TBC

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.

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The Glow-Worm Dell - Walk

LOCATION : Hokitika Town

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 5 min return
Access: From State Highway 7 roadside at the northern town entrance. Parking available but can be walked to from town. 50 metre track leads to Glow-worm Dell.
Features: Free viewing of glow-worm colonies. Please note that Glow-worms can only be seen at night! Flashlight recommended.

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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

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Kahikatea Forest Walk

LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 10 minutes return. 600 m
Access: Sunny Bight picnic area.
Features: Best short loop walk through fine virgin Kahikatea forest. Along the way you will notice small panels that identify tree and shrub species. 

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Canoe Cove Rimu Forest Walk

LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO TRACK DAMAGE

EASY
Time: 15 minutes one way.
Access: Carpark opposite Milltown Rd.
Features: Small inlet on the north eastern shores of the lake. Best short walk through fine rimu forest. Ends at sheltered swimming & picnic beach.

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Dorothy Falls - Walk

LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

EASY 
Time: 2 minutes.
Access: Carpark beside bridge at Dorothy Falls Rd on eastern side of lake.
Features: Short path to pool at base of best local falls. Awesome in a good rain. 

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Lake Kaniere Water Race Walkway - Bike

LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

GRADE 2 - 4+
1-2 hours
This track follows an historic but still functioning power station water race. Part of the track is being upgraded to become a section of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. The track follows the water race into the bush. The first 4km is quite easy. You will then cross a gravel road. This is where the track begins to become a bit harder. In places on the track you may have to walk a few gulches.  At the end of the singletrack you will come onto a 4wd track. Turn right and follow the main 4wd track down. After a few hundred metres you will arrive at the Lake Kaniere road. Turn left and this will take you back to the track 7km away. Or turn right to ride to Hokitika 12km away. This track can be done as a in-out ride also. 

 

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Bellbird Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 10 minute loop
Access: At southern end of camping area
Features: Pretty sand dune forest & circles an old black sand gold dredge pond. Abundant wildlife.

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Jum Michel Track - Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 15 minutes one way
Access: From lake access road. Ends close to camping area
Features: Tree ferns, kamahi & totara forest on old sand dunes. Small panels identify tree and shrub species. Fun for the kids.

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Mananui Bush & Beach Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 20 minutes return.
Access: Carpark 9km south of Hokitika just off SH6.
Features: Intriguing walk through rare remnant of sand dune totara forest. Wonderful lonely driftwood-strewn beach.

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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. 

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Swimmers Beach Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 15 min one way
Access: North of the main lake carpark and camping area.
Features: Leads to a very small but secluded beach through native bush. A good place to head for a swim. 

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Lake Mahinapua & Rimu/Woodstock - Scenic Drive

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

1-3 HOUR 
This scenic driving loop takes in the coast south of Hokitika down to the Lake Mahinapua DoC campground, a great place to stop and enjoy the views and the many short walks in the area. Turn inland at Ruatapu onto the Woodstock Rimu Road to make your way back to Hokitika. Along the way there is the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Further along you will reach the Rimu Lookout & Heritage Walk for great views of the river and surrounding area. The trip can be done in reverse as well.  

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Mananui Tramline / Mahinapua Walkway - Bike

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

Grade 2
1-2 hours
This track follows an old logging tramline and features some of the sawmill machinery. It also incorporates a variety of scenery and terrain and includes access to a pebbly beach at the edge of the lake as well as fun boardwalks across swampy areas of wetland close to Mahināpua Creek. The track can be ridden from SH6 or the Woodstock Rimu Road or as an in and out option. This is getting upgraded to become part of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Great for the kids.

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Hokitika Gorge Track - Walk

LOCATION : Hokitika Gorge

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok 
Time: 15 minute return
Access: 25km east of Hokitika. Turn inland onto Stafford St from SH6/Fitzherbert St and follow the yellow signs saying Hokitika Gorge. Be prepared for lots of turning! (Passes Kowhitirangi Incident memorial on route).
Features: Top rated activity in Hokitika on TripAdvisor! Wheelchair accessible viewpoint overlooking a magnificent granite gorge with milky blue-green pools, backed by cliffs and fine rimu forest. Head further along to a swingbridge and then the edge of the Gorge itself. Take care as some dropoffs on the south bank. Photo credit: Adrienne Sidal

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Hokitika Gorge & Lake Kaniere - Scenic Drive

LOCATION : Hokitika Gorge

HALF DAY
This is a classic scenic drive loop which features amazing scenery. Head inland to the Hokitika Gorge to admire its unbelieveably turquoise waters, enjoying views of farmland, rivers and the mountains along the way. Stop also at the Kowhitirangi Memorial that honours the victims of the Stanley Graham shootings. On the way back, head around the south and eastern end of Lake Kaniere (a good 2wd gravel road). There are plenty of pullouts to enjoy the lake shore as well as a short walk to Dorothy Falls. Then head back to Hokitika. Of course you can do this in reverse too.  

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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. 

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Goldsborough & Kumara - Scenic Drive

LOCATION : Awatuna/Goldsborough

2 HOUR - HALF DAY 
A loop drive that takes in many historic sights. Head north from Hokitika to the historic goldmining town of Goldsborough where you can try your own luck at the public gold fossicking area at the DoC campground or see old gold workings at the easy Tunnel Terrace Walk. Go over a short section of gravel road (suitable for 2wd vehicles) and turn left at Dillmanstown onto highway 73 towards Kumara. Along the way you might want to visit Londonderry Rock, it is big! Enjoy the revitalised town of Kumara before heading back to Hokitika. This trip can be done in reverse too. 

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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.

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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.

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Hokitika Beach Walk

LOCATION : Hokitika Beach

EASY 
Access: Readily accessible from Beach St, via Weld Lane, Sunset Point Rd & several other access roads (see map).
Features: Wonderful wild beach, black sand & pebbles (including pounamu-jade), driftwood, mountain views, sunsets, sunrise, & starry nights. Walks, picnicking, fossicking for pebbles & driftwood, sandcastles, swimming (for the experienced only), surfing, & surfcasting. Keep your eyes open for the Little Blue Penguin but please respect their space!

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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.

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Art & Craft

Hokitika Glass Studio

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.

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 7775
FREEPHONE
0800 178 445
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Retail & Services

West Coast Vinyl & Fashion

PRELOVED RECORDS,TAPES, CDs & CLOTHING.

Thousands of quality Records and Fashion clothing. Postage over seas can be arranged in store. We are at the River end of Revell st.

Only 100metres from The famous Fat Pippi Pizza ,Chinese ,Indian Stummpers Bar. Dulcies fish and chips across the road .

The River, Beach,and Sunset Point all only 100 metres away.

Come listen to some music!! Open till late.

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Email Phone
PHONE
0279079069
MOBILE
027 907 9069
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Take Note Hokitika Bookshop

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.

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 8167
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Accommodation

Greenstone Retreat

"In the middle of everywhere & away from it all". Holiday home, backpackers and camping. Highly rated with Booking.com, TripAdvisor and CamperMate. Characterful, homely and environmentally friendly with amazing facilities and peaceful large gardens near the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Created with love by friendly owner/operator Kate and dog Scout.

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021 0811 3396
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252 Beachside Motels & Holiday Park

Motel studios sleep 2 or 3, family units sleep up to 6, cottages sleep up to 4, 3 cabins and 11 power sites adjacent to the beach and a 3 minute walk to the glow worm dell. Free Wifi - swimming pool (seasonal) pet friendly. Ample parking and bike storage. No tent sites.

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 8773
FREEPHONE
0508 252 252
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Bella Vista Motel

Modern 16 unit complex – studios and 1 Bedroom units. Spa bath options. Free unlimited Wifi, 50+ channel Sky TV. Secure bike storage. 200 metre walk to town centre, restaurants and beach. Free airport transfers. 

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Email Phone
PHONE
03 755 8047
FREEPHONE
0800 235 528
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Seaview Lodge & Kotuku Hostel

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 40 guests. Seaview also has spacious areas for tents, powered and unpowered campervans.

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Email Phone
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(03) 755 5230
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Shining Star Beachfront Accommodation

Supreme quality accommodation set in 4 acres of native gardens by the beach & overlooking the Tasman Sea. Panoramic views with direct beach access. Motels, cabins and holiday park facilities. Opposite the glowworm dell with small farm yard, spa pool, sauna, BBQ, playground and FREE WIFI. “Highly recommended” by Lonely Planet.

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 8921
FREEPHONE
0800 744 646
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Annabelle Motel

When you are looking for friendly, comfortable, relaxing accommodation in Hokitika, then come and stay with us at Annabelle Motel. Simon and Jill can offer you a modern luxury motel situated off the main highway and conveniently located close to the centre of town. The Hokitika town centre, beach, children's playground, restaurants and cafés are just a 20min stroll away

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 8160
FREEPHONE
0508 54 94 94
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Fitzherbert Court Motel

Relax in spacious comfort in 12 superior studio, 1 & 2 bedrooms motels, with spa bath options. Full kitchens, wireless broadband & FREE WIFI. Our modern complex is minutes from the beach, restaurants, shopping centre & airport. Your Hosts: Dave and Kandy Palmer

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 5342
FREEPHONE
0800 775 534
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Heritage Highway Motel

Quality 4 star motel accommodation. 14 spacious studio, spa, 1 & 2 bedroom units. Free Wifi, 42" TVs, 52 Channel Guest Select SKY. Closest motel to town centre, only 100 metres to bars and restaurants. Courtesy vehicle to and from airport. Your hosts – Vicki and Allen

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03)755 8098
FREEPHONE
0800 465 484
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Eat

Fat Pipi Pizza

You haven't experienced Hokitika until you've tried the original whitebait pizza at Fat Pipi Pizzas. In the heart of the township, enjoy gourmet treats that extend beyond pizza and discover why this unique West Coast eating house has given the Lonely Planet travel guide tick for many years.

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(03) 755 6373
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Stumpers Bar & Café

Right in the heart of Hokitika. Homemade food options, large portions, good value. Open 7am til late 7 days. Enjoy a light snack to a full delicious meal – there is something for the whole family. Choose sun-drenched outdoor seating, grab a couch fireside or play pool in the bar. Sample menu on our website. Range of hotel accommodation on site. 

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PHONE
(03) 755 6154
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Hokitika Cool Little Town