Interest



Family Fun

Hokitika is a great place to raise a family, you can tell that by all the young ones running around! So it means it is a great place to visit as a family as well. 

Some locals' tips to enjoy your trip with the kids:

  • Scour the beach for interesting tidbits.
  • Try an easy walk, some can accommodate strollers or buggies. Along these tracks there is often plenty of wildlife to admire (not to feed please!). Watch out for the cheeky wekas, they will steal your food if you let them. 
  • Swim at Lake Mahinapua. It has a shallow area for the little ones and is surprisingly warm. There are also some great family friendly walks here and a lovely picnic area. 
  • Lake Kaniere can also be a great place for a swim with a large picnic area and some cool little walks. 
  • Take a kid fishing. The Kawhaka Dam along the Old Christchurch Road is a friendly place for kids or the Hokitika river mouth. 
  • Go for an easy bike ride.

Browse the listings below for family friendly activiites, places and things to do with kids in Hokitika. 

See & Do

West Coast Treetop Walk and Cafe

www.treetopsnz.com
E: info@treetopsnz.com FREEPH: 0508 8733 8677

An exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rainforest giants. Experience life with the birds high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform 20m high and over 450m long. Hokitika tower is 40m above the forest floor. Cafe on site. 

Shantytown Heritage Park

www.shantytown.co.nz
PH: 03 762 6634 E: office@shantytown.co.nz FREEPH: 0800 742 689

Step back in time to discover an all weather working heritage attraction. Legendary stories of pioneering West Coasters and early industrial technology are showcased through a range of exhibits and interactive activities in a recreated 1800’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 Regent Theatre

www.hokitikaregent.com
PH: (03) 755 8101 E: manager@hokitikaregent.com

Beautiful refurbished Art Deco Theatre and Cafe. See all the latest movies on the Big Screen with latest digital projection technology and surround sound. Check hokitikaregent.com for movie session times, live shows, other events and online bookings.

The National Kiwi Centre

www.thenationalkiwicentre.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 5251 E: natkiwi@xtra.co.nz

Guaranteed viewing of kiwi in their nocturnal house and New Zealand’s living dinosaur, the tuatara. Discover West Coast creatures like whitebait, crayfish and many more. Participate in our giant eel feedings at 10am, 12 noon & 3pm. Kiwi feed after eels at noon. Catch & release a freshwater crayfish in our indoor lake area! Open 7 days, 9am to 5pm in summer & 9.30am to 4.30pm in winter.

Hokitika's Matariki Winter Festival

Date : 1 June to 31 July 2017
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

The Matariki Winter Festival is a series of fun community events, celebrating our cool little town in winter - shows, christmas trees (in June!), a lantern parade to celebrate the winter solstice, star gazing and the inspiring Junk to Funk competition - among others. The festival is a great reason to get out, see the fresh snow on the hills and have some winter fun. 

Hokitika Junk2Funk Exhibition

Date : June and July - 2017 dates to be confirmed
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

A fun 3 week competition where participants create art, fashion and decoreated pet bowls using recycled content. Past participants have ranged from 5 years to over 70 years and around 50 people take part annually. Prizes for many youth and adult categories and all proceeds fo the Hokitika SPCA. All items are displayed for the duration at the Hokitika Museum. 

Hokitika Lantern Parade

Date : 17 June 2017
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

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.

West Coast Whitebait Season

Date : 1 Sept to 14 Nov 2017 inclusive
LOCATION : Hokitika Beach

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. 

Hokitika Christmas Parade

Date : In Dec every year - 2017 dates to be confirmed
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

The annual Christmas parade is always a good day out. Join our community in celebrating the festive season. 

Hokitika Gallops Interislander Summer Festival

Date : In Jan every year. 2018 dates to be confirmed
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

The annual Interislander Summer Festival event at the Hokitika Gallops are sure to be a great way to unwinde with friends and family after Christmas. There is plenty of exciting harness racing action on-course, great entertainment for the whole family including 'Fashion in the Field'. 

Kumara Races

Date : in Jan every year. 2018 dates to be confirmed.
LOCATION : Kumara

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. 

Driftwood & Sand Beach Sculpture Festival

Date : in Jan every year. 2018 dates to be confirmed
LOCATION : Hokitika Beach

"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. www.driftwoodandsand.co.nz.

Westland A&P Show

Date : in Jan every year. 2018 dates to be confirmed
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

The annual Westland A&P Show is a great family day out. Entertainment, rides, livestock, wood chopping events and much more. http://westlandapshow.co.nz/

Lake Mahinapua "Have-a-Go"

Date : In Feb every year - 2018 dates to be confirmed
LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

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. 

Lake Kaniere Scenic Triathlon

Date : In March every year - 2018 dates to be confirmed
LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

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 http://www.lakekanieretri.co.nz

Children's Day

Date : In March every year - 2018 dates TBC
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

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 the largest one on the West Coast and all activities are FREE! Toys, games, mazes, entertainment, horse and fire truck rides, petting zoo and more.  

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

Date : 10 March 2018
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

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 frigtened 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. www.wildfoods.co.nz

Farmlands AgFest West Coast

Date : 2018 dates - To be confirmed
LOCATION : Hokitika Town

Farmlands AgFest West Coast celebrates the importance of the agricultural sector on the West Coast. Experience every inch of farming in New Zealand. Over 300 businesses exhibit, featuring everything from the latest in dairy sheds to the best gumboots to wear in them. You’ll see the latest in farming vehicles and implements, stock care, health and safety and there is a Women's Expo Marquee. 

The Glow-worm Dell - Walk

LOCATION : Hokitika Town

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 5 min return
Access: From State Highway 7 roadside at the northern town entrance. Parking available but can be walked to from town. 50 metre track leads to Glow-worm Dell.
Features: Free viewing of glow-worm colonies. Please note that Glow-worms can only be seen at night! Lovely fern grotto by day. Flashlight recommended.

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. Photo credit: Steve Attwood

Kahikatea Forest Walk

LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 10 minutes return. 600 m
Access: Sunny Bight picnic area.
Features: Best short loop walk through fine virgin Kahikatea forest. Along the way you will notice small panels that identify tree and shrub species. 

Canoe Cove Rimu Forest Walk

LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

EASY
Time: 15 minutes one way.
Access: Carpark opposite Milltown Rd.
Features: Small inlet on the north eastern shores of the lake. Best short walk through fine rimu forest. Ends at sheltered swimming & picnic beach.

Dorothy Falls - Walk

LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

EASY 
Time: 2 minutes.
Access: Carpark beside bridge at Dorothy Falls Rd on eastern side of lake.
Features: Short path to pool at base of best local falls. Awesome in a good rain. 

Lake Kaniere Water Race Walkway - Bike

LOCATION : Lake Kaniere

GRADE 2 - 4+
1-2 hours
This track follows an historic but still functioning power station water race. Part of the track is being upgraded to become a section of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. The track follows the water race into the bush. The first 4km is quite easy. You will then cross a gravel road. This is where the track begins to become a bit harder. In places on the track you may have to walk a few gulches.  At the end of the singletrack you will come onto a 4wd track. Turn right and follow the main 4wd track down. After a few hundred metres you will arrive at the Lake Kaniere road. Turn left and this will take you back to the track 7km away. Or turn right to ride to Hokitika 12km away. This track can be done as a in-out ride also. 

 

Bellbird Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 10 minute loop
Access: At southern end of camping area
Features: Pretty sand dune forest & circles an old black sand gold dredge pond. Abundant wildlife.

Jum Michel Track - Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 15 minutes one way
Access: From lake access road. Ends close to camping area
Features: Tree ferns, kamahi & totara forest on old sand dunes. Small panels identify tree and shrub species. Fun for the kids.

Mananui Bush & Beach Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 20 minutes return.
Access: Carpark 9km south of Hokitika just off SH6.
Features: Intriguing walk through rare remnant of sand dune totara forest. Wonderful lonely driftwood-strewn beach.

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. 

Swimmers Beach Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 15 min one way
Access: North of the main lake carpark and camping area.
Features: Leads to a very small but secluded beach through native bush. A good place to head for a swim. 

Lake Mahinapua & Rimu/Woodstock - Scenic Drive

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

1-3 HOUR 
This scenic driving loop takes in the coast south of Hokitika down to the Lake Mahinapua DoC campground, a great place to stop and enjoy the views and the many short walks in the area. Turn inland at Ruatapu onto the Woodstock Rimu Road to make your way back to Hokitika. Along the way there is the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Further along you will reach the Rimu Lookout & Heritage Walk for great views of the river and surrounding area. The trip can be done in reverse as well.  

Mananui Tramline / Mahinapua Walkway - Bike

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

Grade 2
1-2 hours
This track follows an old logging tramline and features some of the sawmill machinery. It also incorporates a variety of scenery and terrain and includes access to a pebbly beach at the edge of the lake as well as fun boardwalks across swampy areas of wetland close to Mahināpua Creek. The track can be ridden from SH6 or the Woodstock Rimu Road or as an in and out option. This is getting upgraded to become part of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Great for the kids.

Hokitika Gorge Track - Walk

LOCATION : Hokitika Gorge

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok 
Time: 15 minute return
Access: 25km east of Hokitika. Turn inland onto Stafford St from SH6/Fitzherbert St and follow the yellow signs saying Hokitika Gorge. Be prepared for lots of turning! (Passes Kowhitirangi Incident memorial on route).
Features: Top rated activity in Hokitika on TripAdvisor! Wheelchair accessible viewpoint overlooking a magnificent granite gorge with milky blue-green pools, backed by cliffs and fine rimu forest. Head further along to a swingbridge and then the edge of the Gorge itself. Take care as some dropoffs on the south bank. Photo credit: Adrienne Sidal

Hokitika Gorge & Lake Kaniere - Scenic Drive

LOCATION : Hokitika Gorge

HALF DAY
This is a classic scenic drive loop which features amazing scenery. Head inland to the Hokitika Gorge to admire its unbelieveably turquoise waters, enjoying views of farmland, rivers and the mountains along the way. Stop also at the Kowhitirangi Memorial that honours the victims of the Stanley Graham shootings. On the way back, head around the south and eastern end of Lake Kaniere (a good 2wd gravel road). There are plenty of pullouts to enjoy the lake shore as well as a short walk to Dorothy Falls. Then head back to Hokitika. Of course you can do this in reverse too.  

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 & Kumara - Scenic Drive

LOCATION : Awatuna/Goldsborough

2 HOUR - HALF DAY 
A loop drive that takes in many historic sights. Head north from Hokitika to the historic goldmining town of Goldsborough where you can try your own luck at the public gold fossicking area at the DoC campground or see old gold workings at the easy Tunnel Terrace Walk. Go over a short section of gravel road (suitable for 2wd vehicles) and turn left at Dillmanstown onto highway 73 towards Kumara. Along the way you might want to visit Londonderry Rock, it is big! Enjoy the revitalised town of Kumara before heading back to Hokitika. This trip can be done in reverse too. 

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.

Hokitika Beach Walk

LOCATION : Hokitika Beach

EASY 
Access: Readily accessible from Beach St, via Weld Lane, Sunset Point Rd & several other access roads (see map).
Features: Wonderful wild beach, black sand & pebbles (including pounamu-jade), driftwood, mountain views, sunsets, sunrise, & starry nights. Walks, picnicking, fossicking for pebbles & driftwood, sandcastles, swimming (for the experienced only), surfing, & surfcasting. Keep your eyes open for the Little Blue Penguin but please respect their space!

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.

Art & Craft

Hokitika Glass Studio

www.hokitikaglass.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 7775 E: hokitikaglass@ihug.co.nz FREEPH: 0800 178 445

Glass blowing-designer art forms. View master glassblowers handcrafting glassware, art glass, giftware, souvenirs, tableware & glass beads. All available from our large showroom. Open 7 days.

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

252 Beachside Motels & Holiday Park

www.252beachside.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 8773 E: info@252beachside.co.nz FREEPH: 0508 252 252

Family and group accommodation at its best. Stand alone cottages sleep 4 - family units sleep 6. Very spacious studio units for couples to relax in. 3 Standard cabins and 11 power sites for campervans.  Adjacent to the beach in a quiet location sit in our tranquil garden to unwind. An inground swimming pool is on site for those hot summer months. Free Wifi.

Heritage Highway Motel

www.heritagemotel.co.nz
PH: (03)755 8098 E: admin@heritagemotel.co.nz FREEPH: 0800 465 484

Quality 4 star motel accommodation. 14 spacious studio, spa, 1 & 2 bedroom units. Wireless internet, 42" TVs. Closest motel to town centre, only 100 metres to bars and restaurants. Courtesy vehicle to and from airport. Your hosts – Vicki and Allen

Fitzherbert Court Motel

www.fitzherbertcourt.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 5342 E: fitzherbert.court@xtra.co.nz FREEPH: 0800 775 534

Relax in spacious comfort in 12 superior studio, 1 & 2 bedrooms motels, with spa bath options. Full kitchens, wireless broadband & FREE WIFI. Our modern complex is minutes from the beach, restaurants, shopping centre & airport. Your Hosts: Dave and Kandy Palmer

Shining Star Beachfront Accommodation

www.shiningstar.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 8921 E: shining@xtra.co.nz FREEPH: 0800 744 646

Supreme quality accommodation set in 4 acres of native gardens by the beach & overlooking the Tasman Sea. Panoramic views with direct beach access. Motels, cabins and holiday park facilities. Opposite the glowworm dell with small farm yard, spa pool, sauna, BBQ, playground and FREE WIFI. “Highly recommended” by Lonely Planet.

Annabelle Motel

www.annabellemotel.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 8160 E: info@annabellemotel.co.nz

When you are looking for friendly, comfortable, relaxing accommodation in Hokitika, then come and stay with us at Annabelle Motel. Simon and Jill can offer you a modern luxury motel situated off the main highway and conveniently located close to the centre of town. The Hokitika town centre, beach, children's playground, restaurants and cafés are just a 20min stroll away

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.

Eat

Fat Pipi Pizza

PH: (03) 755 6373

You haven't experienced Hokitika until you've tried the original whitebait pizza at Fat Pipi Pizzas. In the heart of the township, enjoy gourmet treats that extend beyond pizza and discover why this unique West Coast eating house has featured in the Lonely Planet travel guide for the past four years. 

Stumpers Bar & Café

www.stumpers.co.nz
PH: (03) 755 6154 E: enquiries@stumpers.co.nz

Right in the heart of Hokitika. Homemade food options, large portions, good value. Open 7am til late 7 days. Enjoy a light snack to a full delicious meal – there is something for the whole family. Choose sun-drenched outdoor seating, grab a couch fireside or play pool in the bar. Sample menu on our website. Range of hotel accommodation on site. 

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