The gateway to the South Westland World Heritage Area, Hokitika overlooks the mouth of Hokitika River. It’s home to a small cultural heritage museum, a kiwi wildlife sanctuary and a glow worm dell and is situated along the spectacular West Coast Wilderness Trail.
Things to do in Hokitika
Discover the region’s cultural and natural history at the Hokitika Museum, which occupies the historic Carnegie Building. Admire the giant Meccano model dredge, learn about the local whitebaiting industry and discover the gold rush history through old photographs and mining artefacts.
Get up close to a range of native wildlife at the National Kiwi Centre, which is renowned for its nocturnal house that replicates the natural environment of kiwis. You can also see New Zealand's oldest living dinosaur, the tuatara, and witness the 100-year-old long-finned eel.
Ride along the West Coast Wilderness Trail, which traverses glacial rivers, dense rainforest and wildlife-filled wetlands. Cycle along tracks carved by pioneering gold rush miners and former logging tramways as you explore the four-day trail or opt to ride the 33-kilometre-long section from Hokitika to the town of Ross.
Looking for something to do after dark? Visit the Glow Worm Dell on the edge of Hokitika’s town centre where hundreds of glow worms create a spellbinding nighttime display. Take a torch to view the interpretation boards detailing the unique lifestyle of these fascinating little critters.
Getting around Hokitika
Hokitika Airport is a five-minute drive from the town centre and has daily flights from Christchurch, while the 3.5-hour drive to Arthur’s Pass offers plenty of scenic views. The town centre is easily walkable, but having your own vehicle is best for venturing further afield.