Events | Hokitika, West Coast, New Zealand
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See & Do


For a little town, Hokitika has some big annual events with the internationally recognised Hokitika Wildfoods Festival and "Driftwood and Sand" the two biggest. But we also have some great smaller community events that celebrate what makes Hokitika special. Come along and join us!

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Browse Hokitika Events

Browse the listings below to learn more about annual events in Hokitika or visit these external websites:


Lake Kaniere Scenic Triathlon

29 February 2020

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

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Children's Day

1 March 2020

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

7 March 2020

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.

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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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Anzac Day Commemorations

25 April 2020

Annual service for Anzac Day run by the local Hokitika RSA - Lest we Forget.

6:30 am Dawn Service, 11am Civic Service at RSA headquarters. 

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Tranz Alpine Scooter Safari

16th May 2020

A charity event involving 250 motorized Scooters riding 250kms Coast-to-Coast over the Southern Alps from Christchurch to Hokitika to raise funds for the New Zealand Cancer Society. it is designed to be the coldest, longest, hardest, most grueling and uncomfortable test of endurance on a city scooter to raise money and awareness for cancer sufferers. It runs every two years.


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Hokitika Lantern Parade

June 2020 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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West Coast Whitebait Season

1 Sept to 14 Nov 2020 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

Sept 2020 (date TBC)

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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Shop Here & Win: Prize Draws

Nov/Dec 2020

Each year, local retailers reward their loyal customers with a Shop Here & Win prize draw.

Make a purchase in any outlet displaying the Shop Here & Win flyer and you're in with multiple chances to WIN!!!

Each business will draw a winner and every entry will also be in the draw to win the main prize package.

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Hokitika Retailers Market

14 Nov 2020

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 2020 TBC

The annual Christmas parade is always a good day out.

Join our community in celebrating the festive season and enjoy a range of flotas and community groups. 


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Christmas at the Beach

Dec 2020 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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Kumara Races

09 January 2021 (date 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

January 2021 (date 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 at the Kaniere Empire Hotel.

Tickets $10-20. Entry Forms can be found at:

  • Wild Outdoorsman 28 Tancred St, Hokitika (03) 755 8947.
  • Fishing & Firearms 63 Tainui St, Greymouth (03) 768 0206.
  • Kaniere Empire Hotel 289 Kaniere Road, Hokitika (03) 755 8443.

More information  

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Driftwood & Sand Beach Festival

January 2021 (date 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.

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Woodstock Rally

January 2021 (date TBC)

West Coast flavoured fun!

This is run annually by the West Coast Touring Motorcycle Club and has become a premier event on the motorcycle touring curcuit. Participants camp onsite and enjoy food stalls, free tea & coffee, live entertainment and a no attitudes allowed environment. 

Contact [email protected] for details. 

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Westland A&P Show

January 2021 (date TBC)

The annual Westland A&P Show is a great family day out.

Entertainment, rides, livestock, wood chopping events and much more.

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Speight's Coast to Coast Multisport Race

12 - 13 Feb 2021

The Speight's Coast to Coast is a multi-sport event that has been held for over 30 years. It traverses the South Island of New Zealand from Serpentine Beach on the Tasman Sea to Brighton Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Over either one or two days competitors cycle, run and kayak through some of New Zealand's most beautiful terrain.

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St Andrew's Garden Ramble

Feb 2021 - date TBC

An annual fundraising event and great day out. Tour a variety of local gardens.

Each year, the event visits different gardens so there is always something new to see.

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Sand Dunes Classic Golf Event

2021 date to be confirmed

For over 25 years, teams have gotten their best golf clubs out to test their skills along the Hokitika Beach. Often in fancy dress, teams are tested with many sand traps, variable weather and an occassional exciting crossing of the Hokitika River mouth. Prizes and BBQ are the reward at the end of this unique golf event.  

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Lake Mahinapua Annual Regatta

2020 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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