Sometimes you see photos of a tourist spot and think yeah right, it can’t look as good as that in real life. The Hokitika Gorge is one of those places. The vivid turquoise water surrounded by lush native bush looks too good to be true but trust us, it is well worth a visit. The Hokitika Gorge is 33kms from Hokitika.
DIRECTIONS: The road is signposted the whole way - look for the yellow signs that say Hokitika Gorge and be prepared for a lot of turning! Turn inland (East) on Stafford St from SH6/Fitzherbert St - this changes into Kaniere Road. Veer right onto Kaniere-Kowhitirangi Road. At T junction, turn right to stay on Kaniere-Kowhitirangi Road. Go over one-way bridge and at the first 4-way road junction, turn left to stay on Kaniere-Kowhitirangi Road, go one country block and turn right to stay on Kaniere-Kowhitirangi Road. Go one country block and turn left onto Johnston Road. Go one country block and turn right onto Nielson Road. Go one country block and veer left onto Whitcombe Valley Road. Follow this road until the Hokitika Gorge carpark.
Hokitika Gorge Scenic Drives
If you fancy a drive then we would recommend a scenic loop to the Hokitika Gorge and then back through dairy country to Lake Kaniere and home to Hokitika. To make it even more poignant, you can visit the site of a mass murder at the Kowhitirangi memorial to the seven victims Stanley Graham killed back in 1941.
Or you can turn the other way and head to the West Coast Treetop Walkway on Lake Mahinapua along the Rimu-Woodstock road and back to Hokitika.
Hokitika Gorge Walk
It is a short walk from the carpark through a mainly rimu and podocarp forest to a viewing platform where the water has to be seen to be believed. You can walk a little further across a swing bridge to get closer to the stunning blue river and the sheer ravine.
Other Activities at Hokitika Gorge
Trampers may wish to go further afield and there are three-day hikes from here to places like Grassy Flats, Cedar Flat and Mt Brown.
Further up the gorge the rough water is popular for adventure kayaking. Hokitika is close to some of the worlds’ best white water kayaking, set amongst granite gorges and stunning bush.
Browse the listings below to learn more about the Hokitika Gorge.
See & Do
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
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.