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Interest



Art | Culture | Heritage

Hokitika blends an interesting mix of descendants of tough old pioneers, the local Maori people, a large artisan community and people who have moved here for the untamed natural wilderness and relaxed atmosphere.

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Past and present Culture

At the height of the gold rushes in the 1860’s the Hokitika port was a busy place, with in excess of 40 ships alongside the wharf at any one time. It wasn't easy getting here though - the river bar entrance claiming over 100 strandings and 30 ships lost.

Before the gold rush, Maori were heading here for another precious stone - pounamu/NZ jade. Today, Hokitika probably has more galleries and artist studios per capita than anywhere else in New Zealand.

image of gold nuggets with link to gold webpagecarved pounamu jewelery on beach pebbles with link to Pounamu webpageman welding gold jewelery with link to art, craft, galleries web page

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Cool Ideas | Art, Culture & Heritage

There are many ways to experience Hokitika's past and present day culture. Here are some top locals' picks.

  • Walk the Points of Interest Loop in the town centre which features public art, unique Take-a-Seat artseats and historical buildings and monuments.
  • 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.
  • Visit during the annual Driftwood and Sand Beach Sculpture Event in January to see amazing art made out of driftwood or even make some yourself.

people walking down from Mount Brown overlooking Lake Kaniere with link to walks webpagepencil drawing of Hokitika in the 1860s with link to The Luminaries webpageimage of woman in Feral Fashion outfit about to eat a huhu grub at Wildfoods with link to events webpage

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Browse Hokitika places featuring Art, Culture & Heritage

Browse the listings below to find places featuring Hokitika's art, culture and heritage. 

 

See & Do

Hokitika Museum Services and Research Centre

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

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PHONE
(03) 755 6898
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Mountain Jade - Weld Street

Discover how we handcraft jade on a FREE guided tour of our workshop. You’ll meet New Zealand’s finest jade artists and see them at work transforming jade into art. Our Discovery Tour is FREE and runs daily at 9.30am & 2.30pm. A “must do” West Coast experience. 

 

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PHONE
(03) 755 8007
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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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PHONE
(03) 755 8497
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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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PHONE
(03) 755 8101
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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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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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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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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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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. Many sites included on the Town Centre Points of Interest Loop. Request a brochure showing the whole walk from the Visitor i-Site. Photo credit: Steve Attwood

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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. 

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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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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.

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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 / 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.

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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.

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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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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. 

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Sunset Point - Walk

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. Views of Aoraki Mount Cook & Tasman (Horo Kawau). Tambo ‘shipwreck’. Information panels. Walks, picnicing, beach fossicking, fishing, & whitebaiting.

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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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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.

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Art & Craft

Mountain Jade - Tancred Street

Discover the largest collection of hand-carved jade art and jewellery in New Zealand. Our friendly and knowledgeable team can help you to find a personal piece that's right for you or a special gift for your loved ones. Our range includes the finest jade from New Zealand and around the world. Open 7 days. 

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 8009
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Wilderness Gallery

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.

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 7575
MOBILE
021 184 0917
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Gorge Gallery at MZ Design

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.

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PHONE
(03) 755 7800
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Traditional Jade

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.

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PHONE
(03) 755 5233
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GiftNZ

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.

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Email Phone
PHONE
03 755 7448
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Tectonic Jade

Jade store 

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Phone
PHONE
03 755 6644
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Heritage Jade

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. 

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PHONE
(03) 755 6514
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Westland Greenstone Ltd

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.

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 8713
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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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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 8362
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Hokitika Craft Gallery

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, Jewellery and Art. Open 7 days in the Summer. Closed Sunday and Monday in the Winter. Come and meet the makers!

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 8802
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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

The Possum People

"A unique outlet where you can see Possum-Fur product being made from hide to Home Decor" Welcome to our Workroom & Sales outlet. We have an extensive range of Quality NZ POSSUM FUR Products.  KIWI BOOT COMPANY-Our Famous Possum-Fur lined Cosy Boots & Slippers. Exclusive range of Possum/Merino knitwear including Hats, Gloves, Socks & Scarves. Fur Garments & lots of Fur Fashion Accessories!  Luxury Home Fur Decor; Throws & Cushions. Over 40yrs experience in the trade. Come in and visit us - Open 7 days

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 756 8090
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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

Theatre Royal Hotel

Lovingly restored gold rush hotel with unique themed accommodation and a warm, Victorian atmosphere. Originally built in 1876 during the last great gold rush the hotel was the meeting, entertaining and playing place for miners who had arrived in Kumara from around the world. Today it is an award winning hotel with full bar and excellent restaurant facilities.  

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Email Phone
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(03) 736 9277
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Pioneer Hotel

Catering for price conscious travellers, the Pioneer Hotel provides character & old fashioned friendly service. Free unlimited WIFI.  BBQ & courtyard area, Breakfast making facilities. Individual rooms can accommodate 1 to 4 guests with shared bathroom facilities. 5 minute walk to town centre. Full bar & casual dining onsite.

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Email Phone
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(03) 755 8641
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Birdsong Accommodation

Relax and immediately feel at home in this family-friendly, two storey house. Birdsong Accommodation earns its excellent reputation for its welcoming ambiance, modern kitchen facilities with high standards of cleanliness, stunning ocean views and unique native bird-themed artwork. Two minute walk to beach, 1.25km to Glow Worm Dell.

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 755 7179
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Teichelmann's Bed & Breakfast

‘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.

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Email Phone
PHONE
(03) 7558232
MOBILE
0277558232
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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
PHONE
(03) 755 5230
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Hokitika Cool Little Town