Interest

History & Heritage

To say Hokitika has had a colourful past is a bit of an understatement. At the height of the gold rushes in the 1860’s it boasted 102 hotels. Throw in three opera houses and a whole lot of gold miners and it must have been a rip-roaring town. 

Living History 

It’s not hard to get a feel for how life used to be in Hokitika. A self-guided heritage walk takes in the most memorable historic sites or you can go high tech and use augmented reality to view old images on your mobile phone. Another option is take a guided tour with one of the Coast’s interesting historical characters around Hokitika’s heritage hot spots.

Gold Panning 

There is still gold in them-there hills so pick up a gold pan and head to one of the public fossicking areas at Ross or Goldsborough where you’ll be watched by cheeky wekas. 

Heritage Displays 

The Hokitika Museum and Ross Information Centre have great heritage displays and there are also plenty of bush walks near Hokitika where you can still see authentic relics from the gold years including water races and tunnels.  

Browse the listings below to see places that feature Hokitika's history and heritage. 

The Luminaries and Hokitika

Eleanor Catton's 2013 Man Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries is set in Hokitika. It brings to life the Hokitika of the gold rush era circa 1866. Read it for a feel of what life used to be like for those pioneer gold miners. 
 

See & Do

Shantytown Heritage Park

www.shantytown.co.nz
FREEPH: 0800 742 689

Step back in time to discover an all weather working heritage attraction. Legendary stories of pioneer West Coasters and early industrial technology are showcased through a range of exhibits and interactive activities in a recreated 1900’s village born of the gold rush era. Steam train rides, gold panning and old time photos are just some of the activities available.

Hokitika Museum

www.hokitikamuseum.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 6898 E: enquiries@hokitikamuseum.co.nz

A regional history hub located in the historic Carnegie Building. Audio-visuals provide a great introduction to the West Coast while exhibitions tell stories of pounamu, tangata whenua, the gold-rush, whitebaiting and more. Don’t miss the giant Meccano model dredge or the quiz for kids! Open 7 days.

Ross Goldfields Information & Heritage Area

www.ross.org.nz
PH: (03) 755 4077 E: rossgoldfields@netaccess.co.nz

Home to New Zealand’s largest gold nugget “ The Honourable Roddy”. Pan for gold in our all weather area, gold pan hire or purchase your own. Gold jewellery, nuggets and souvenirs. History room with audio visual & working models. Open 7 Days

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. 

Request a brochure showing the whole walk from the Visitor i-Site

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Sunset Point - Walk and Scenic Lookout

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. Lookout, views of NZ’s highest Mts. Cook (Aoraki) & Tasman (Horo Kawau). Tambo ‘shipwreck’. Information panels. Walks, picnicing, beach fossicking, fishing, & whitebaiting.

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.

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.

Shop

Take Note Hokitika Bookshop

www.takenotehokitika.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 8167 E: takenote.hokitika@xtra.co.nz

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.

Accommodation

Kaniere Empire Hotel

PH: 03 755 8443 E: kanierehotel@live.com

Legendary West Coast hospitality, West Coast craft beers, Comfy budget accommodation, Guest lounge/kitchen. Mingle with colourful local characters, hear our unique history and stories, have a laugh, learn where to go for outdoor adventure. 'HIRE-A-PUB' Ideal base for corporate, sporting and social clubs. Find us on Facebook. 

Awatuna Homestead

www.awatunahomestead.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 6834 E: rest@awantunahomestead.co.nz FREEPH: 0800 006 888

A family home since 1874, on the seacoast midway Greymouth/Hokitika. Eco-friendly Classic accommodation 2 hrs from the Glaciers, 2 hrs from Punakaiki Rocks and 3.5 hrs from Christchurch. 5 ensuite luxury rooms. Base yourselves at the Homestead, taking relaxing day trips to interesting and exciting places on the West Coast.

Seaview Lodge & Kotuku Hostel

PH: (03) 755 5230 E: seaviewlodge@xtra.co.nz

The lodge to relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the Southern Alps and sunset of the Tasman Ocean. Accommodating up to 20 persons. Also available, Kotuku Hostel which accommodates 50 persons.

Teichelmanns’ B & B

www.teichelmanns.co.nz
PH: (03) 7558232 E: teichel@xtra.co.nz FREEPH: 0800743742

‘History... With a Touch of Class’. An historic, character house centrally located within the heritage area of 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 nearby cafes, restaurants and craft galleries, stroll on the beach and experience a magnificent West Coast sunset. Moderate Tariff Rates.

Hokitika Heritage Lodge

www.hokitikaheritagelodge.co.nz
PH: (03) 7557357 E: info@hokitikaheritagelodge.co.nz FREEPH: 0800261949 MOBILE: 0274371254

Our boutique lodge overlooks extensive views of the Tasman Sea, Hokitika, the Southern Alps and Mt Cook. Bank House B & B has three spacious ensuite rooms and a guest lounge, Wi-Fi. 

Our Gatehouse Cottage is self-catering, with 2 beautifully appointed bedrooms with private bathroom, lounge, dining and full kitchen.  Stay a night or more and explore the beautiful West Coast.

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