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township in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island
Clock tower in town centre, with the Jade Factory behind

Hokitika, gateway to the South Westland World Heritage National Park, is on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.

Get inEdit

Intercity Coachlines travel there. Located approximately 2 hours drive from Fox Glacier.

Air New Zealand flies from Christchurch every day.


Hokitika Gorge
  • Glowworm Dell. Located just off the main highway north of Hokitika, visit this dell at night to be surrounded by sparkling glowworms. They're about a minute walk in from the road, and while the path is dark, using a bright torch will make some of the glowworms turn off. The light of a phone screen is totally enough to see by.
  • Hokitika Gorge. Some thirty minutes away from the town by car. Cross a swingbridge over stunning blue waters.
  • The National Kiwi Centre, 64 Tancred St, Hokitika, +64 3 755 5251. An aquarium and kiwi house. Given that kiwis are so elusive, a kiwi house such as this is likely to be your only chance to see one in real life. You can also take part in feeding the giant eels which are approximately 85 to 100 years old, and learn a lot about them in the process.


  • Wildfoods Festival. Annual food festival serving foods that range from the benign to the absolute wildest (paua titties (roe), bull, lamb and goat testicles) you could consider. Usually held in March.
  • Carve some greenstone (jade).


  • Hand blown glass. Watch them make beautiful pieces of glass and then make a few purchases at the Hokitika Glass Works.
  • Pounamu. This nephrite jade is found only on the West Coast, and its harvest and sale is governed by Ngai Tahu. There are a variety of pounamu stores, mainly along Weld and Tancred Streets. Beware some shops selling Canadian jade carved in China - if the price looks too good to be true, it's probably not pounamu. You can see Ngati Waewae carvers in action and buy verified pounamu carvings at Te Waipounamu Maori Heritage Centre, on the corner of Weld & Sewell.




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Routes through Hokitika
Greymouth  N   S  RossFranz Josef Glacier

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