About Hokitika Gorge
EASY – Buggies/Strollers ok
Sometimes you see photos of a tourist spot and think yeah right, it can’t look as good as that in real life. The Hokitika Gorge is one of those places.
The Hokitika Gorge is 33kms from Hokitika. The road is signposted the whole way – look for the yellow signs that say Hokitika Gorge and be prepared for a lot of turning!
- Turn inland (East) on Stafford St from SH6/Fitzherbert St – this changes into Kaniere Road. Veer right onto Kaniere-Kowhitirangi Road.
- At T junction, turn right to stay on Kaniere-Kowhitirangi Road. Go over one-way bridge and at the first 4-way road junction, turn left to stay on Kaniere-Kowhitirangi Road, go one country block and turn right to stay on Kaniere-Kowhitirangi Road.
- Go one country block and turn left onto Johnston Road. Go one country block and turn right onto Nielson Road. Go one country block and veer left onto Whitcombe Valley Road. Follow this road until the Hokitika Gorge carpark.
From the car park, follow the walking track for a few minutes through dense podocarp/hardwood forest before emerging onto a viewing platform. From here you can look down to the stunning Hokitika Gorge and out to the lush farmland of Kowhitirangi. This part of the track is accessible for wheelchairs.
From the viewing platform, continue for another 6 minutes along the curving boardwalks and you will reach a swing bridge. From here there are excellent views of the blue-green waters of the Hokitika River as it makes its way through the rock sided Hokitika Gorge.
For good views further up the gorge, cross the swing bridge and when you come to the end of it turn left (straight ahead leads to private farmland). The track continues for another 200 m (10 minutes) through the bush, crossing a small bridge to a second viewing platform with looking out to the gorge upstream of the bridge. Access to a small beach is also available here. Be sure to take time to read the warning signs and close the gate after you.
To continue further up the gorge, return to the junction just before the platform and turn left. Curved boardwalks take you past small waterfalls with the blue-green river glimpsed through the trees. The track continues to wind through mature forest with river views. After 5 minutes of easy walking the track crosses Elf Creek, where from the bridge you can see how the water has sculptured the granite bedrock.
A curved gantry provides further river views and the impressive structure of the upper Hokitika Gorge suspension bridge looms in the distance with the mountain in the background.
After 200 metres of wandering track, the 90m suspension bridge crosses the main channel of the Hokitika Gorge, before entering the forest canopy of Miro, Rimu, and Kamahi as the bridge passes over an island and then a flood channel. The Bridge offers spectacular views of the Hokitika Gorge, mature forested surrounds and the foothills of the Southern Alps.
Following the bridge, it’s an easy undulating 30 min wander back to the carpark through mature nature forest. A viewpoint on the way overlooks the river and farmland land of the upper Hokitika Valley.
Drive time from Hokitika
Distance from Hokitika
Hot tip for you visit
Pack insect Repellent!
Things To Do
Eat and Drink
Hokitika Gorge and Lake Kaniere
This has got to be one of the best scenic drives on the West Coast if not all of New Zealand. Packed with awe-inspiring moments.