Whether you are after a whitewater kayak adventure on the rivers, a relaxing day at one of two lakes, a stroll on the beach or a tramp in the mountains, there is a great choice of outdoor adventure in Hokitika, West Coast New Zealand.
For the adrenaline junkies, there is white water kayaking and rafting on some of the best technical rapids in the world.
During whitebait season you can head down to the river mouth to watch the locals baiting. It is great fun and many a pleasant afternoon can be spent yarning as you wait your turn in the line-up.
Trout and salmon are the other delicacies to be found in our rivers. You can spin and fly fish for sea-run and river trout all year round and from January to April you may even catch a salmon but they’re harder to find. You may have more luck at the river mouth surf casting for Kahawai or if its gold on your mind try panning in some of the nearby streams.
Lake Mahinapua is our tranquil lake. 10kms south of Hokitika it is surrounded by native bush and is a lovely place for a swim, the water is surprisingly warm.
Kids love jumping off the jetty into the lake or launching a canoe to explore, there are some good child friendly walks too. Fishing is best done from a boat, with perch and brown trout plentiful.
Bird spotters are likely to see black swans and grey and mallard ducks, or if you are lucky a white heron. There’s a two-hour wetland walk following an old logging tramway that mountain bikers can use too.
Further inland is Lake Kaniere, it is a bit more of an action lake, but you can kick back and relax here too. 19kms from Hokitika, it is a popular spot in summer for picnicking, water skiing, kayaking, fishing, walking and mountain biking.
Surrounded on three sides by mountains that are capped in snow during winter Kaniere is pretty stunning. There are salmon, perch, rainbow and brown trout in the lake and a great mountain bike ride along a historic water-race track.
There is an easily accessible waterfall, and plenty of walks of all lengths. The fit can tackle the seven hour return climb to Mt Tahua or Mt Brown. Your hard work is rewarded with great views of Hokitika, Lake Kaniere and mountains.
Often you’ll come across relics from the gold mining days and you are bound to see abundant bird life. Tuis, Bellbirds, Fantails, Pukeko, Kereru, and Weka are all common.
Our beach lends itself to more relaxing pursuits. It's a place to reflect, stroll, search for pounamu, and watch some amazing sunsets.
The more adventurous might go for a swim, but be careful because there can be strong rips.
WIth the Southern Alps just a short drive away, Hokitika is a great place to base yourself to explore the mountains. There are a range of longer multi-day tramps and good opportunities for hunting near Hokitika.
We are only a one hour's drive from Arthur's Pass as well so skiing is not far away.