See & Do

Hokitika Events

For a small town, we have some pretty big events. The internationally recognised Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is the biggest of them all. But we also have some great smaller events that celebrate everything that make Hokitika and the surrounding area special. Come along and join us! Browse the listings below for events in Hokitika.  

Matariki Winter Festival 

"What's On in Hokitika" Calendar

Date : Throughout the year

The "What's On in Hokitika" Calendar gives you updates on community run events throughout our community - quiz nights, market days, Playcentre meetings and much more!

An Explorer's Life: Charlie Douglas Centennial Celebrations

Date : 3 & 4 June 2016

Charlie Douglas explored and mapped many areas on the West Coast for the Department of Lands and Survey during the later 19th century, and most extensively in South Westland. He was a notable personality, well known for his writing and wit as well as his legendary explorations. This year marks the 100th year since his death in Hokitika. See the schedule of events for the weekend here.  

Hokitika's Matariki Winter Festival

Date : 1 June to 31 July 2016

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 : 14 June - 2 July 2016

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. 

West Coast Whitebait Season

Date : 1 Sept to 14 Nov 2016 inclusive

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. 

Richard John Seddon 150

Date : 25 to 27 Nov 2016

A weekend commemorating NZ's longest serving Prime Minister, Richard John Seddon, and his West Coast experiences. Events will be hosted in Kumara and Hokitika. Enquiries contact the Hokitika iSite +64 3 755 6166 or

25 Days of Christmas: Prize Draws

Date : In Nov and Dec - 2016 dates to be confirmed

Shop local and get rewarded. Make a purchase in any outlet displaying the 25 Days of Christmas flyer and you're in to WIN!!! There is one winner randomly drawn EVERY DAY from any of the participating businesses (winners will be contacted directly by the organisers). AND there will be TWO winners drawn for the Late Night Shopping on Thurs. Good luck! 

Late Night Shopping for Christmas

Date : in Dec - 2016 dates to be confirmed

Local businesses will be open late on the evening of 10 Dec to help you finish your Christmas shopping. AND two winners will be drawn that night for the 25 Days of Christmas Prize Draws! 

Hokitika Christmas Parade

Date : In Dec every year - 2016 dates to be confirmed

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

Kumara Races

Date : 14 Jan 2017

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. 

Hokitika Trots Interislander Summer Fesitval

Date : 18 Jan 2017

The annual Interislander Summer Festival event at the Hokitika Trots 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'. 

Sand Dunes Classic Golf Event

Date : 21 Jan 2017

For over 25 years, teams have gotten their best golf clubs out to test their skills along the Hokitika Beach. Often in fancy dress, teams are tested with many sand traps, variable weather and an occassional exciting crossing of the Hokitika River mouth. Prizes and BBQ are the reward at the end of this unique golf event.  

Driftwood & Sand Beach Sculpture Festival

Date : At end of Jan - 2017 dates to be confirmed

"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.

Woodstock Rally

Date : In Jan every year - 2017 dates to be confirmed

This is run annually by the West Coast Touring Motorcycle Club and has become a premier event on the motorcycle touring curcuit. Participants camp onsite and enjoy food stalls, free tea & coffee, live entertainment and a no attitudes allowed environment. 

Westland A&P Show

Date : 28 Jan 2017

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

Speight's Coast to Coast Multisport Race

Date : 10 Feb 2017

The Speight's Coast to Coast is a multi-sport event that has been held for over 30 years. It traverses the South Island of New Zealand from Serpentine Beach on the Tasman Sea to Brighton Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Over either one or two days competitors cycle, run and kayak through some of New Zealand's most beautiful terrain.

St Andrew's Garden Ramble

Date : In Feb every year - 2017 date to be confirmed
A great day out! St Andrew’s Garden Ramble, Fitzherbert Street, Hokitika. 9am – 4pm. Contact Jan 0212955919 for details.

Lake Mahinapua "Have-a-Go"

Date : In Feb every year - 2017 dates to be confirmed

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 - 2017 dates to be confirmed

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

Kids' Day

Date : In March every year - 2017 dates to be confirmed

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 2017

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.

Anzac Day Commemorations

Date : 25 April 2017

* 6:30am Dawn Service in Cass Square

* Dawn service followed by community breakfast at Westland Boys Brigade Hall

* 11am service at the Regent Theatre

* Regent service followed by parade through town 

Farmlands AgFest West Coast

Date : 2018 dates - To be confirmed

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. 

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