Hokitika is situated on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, beside the Tasman Sea with a view to Mount Cook and the Southern Alps. Hokitika is the gateway to the South Westland World Heritage National Park. The Arahura River, which enters the sea 8 kilometres (5 miles) north of Hokitika, is a traditional source of pounamu (greenstone) for the Maori people and still yields a large proportion of the Coast's continuing supply.
Several shops in Hokitika sell expertly crafted greenstone jewellery and sculptures. The region is also popular with other craftspeople, including gold jewellers, wood turners and potters. Tourism, farming, sphagnum moss and fishing also provide the source of wealth for the residents of Hokitika.
South of Hokitika are two beautiful water-holes. Lake Kaniere is a placid lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains and a favourite place for boating, water skiing, picnics and swimming. Lake Mahinapua, surrounded by bushland, is ideal for sailing and has good camp facilities. Between Hokitika and Franz Josef is the settlement of Whataroa and the famous white heron (kotuku) which nests between November and February.
Hokitika Wildfoods Festival (March each year)
Kiwis and travellers alike - mark your calendars for this not-to-be-missed event on the West Coast. Featuring unique caravans, costumes, competitions and of course a palate challenging menu of local delicacies -- this is a taste of New Zealand counter culture.
Check out the funky West Coast town of Hokitika on the following trips:
Kea New Zealand Family Adventure
- 13 Days
- Adult: US$4,599 + tax, Child (15 & under): US$3,799 + tax
Let us take care of every detail so that you and your family can enjoy exploring New Zealand’s iconic places on a fun outdoorsy adventure. The ‘Kea’ is the perfect opportunity for everyone in the family to try some new activities together while our guides encourage, entertain, serve up delicious meals and ensure you make the most of your precious vacation time. You’ll be amazed how much everyone learns along the way and our guides will have you laughing as much as the kids! For a great way to see the North Island too, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
Activity level: This trip has been designed to be fun and gently challenging for the young, and the young at heart. The pace is flexible and most hikes range between two and four hours to complete.
Here's a pretty cool video of what it's like to travel with your family, on an Active Adventures trip.
Manuka Milford Hiking Adventure
- 14 Days
- US$6,199 + tax
If you wish to concentrate on hiking the iconic tracks of New Zealand and like your creature comforts, we’ve crafted this trip just for you. It has a strong focus on New Zealand’s natural history. Our guides have plenty of time to interpret the flora and fauna and explain the geological and social history of the areas you’ll visit. You also have the choice of a selection of the best day hikes Fiordland National Park has to offer, along with an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound, or hiking the famous Milford Track in its entirety. The ‘Manuka’ really is hiking New Zealand in style!
Activity level: The 'Manuka' is an active hiking trip, but has options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically hikes on the 'Manuka' trip range between three and six hours to complete, with longer hikes on the Milford Track Guided Walk option.
Rimu Ultimate South Island Adventure
- 14 Days
- US$5,299 + tax
This is our signature adventure and a great, outdoorsy way to see New Zealand. We’ve been fine-tuning this perennial favourite since 1996 and it’s simply an awesome trip. You’ll explore the most beautiful, famous and little-known places in the South Island – up close and personal – with legendary hospitality and our unsurpassed attention to detail. For a great way to see the North Island too, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
Activity level: The ‘Rimu’ is one of our more adventurous trips, but has options to suit a wide range of ages and outdoor experience. Typically, hikes on the ‘Rimu’ trip range between two and five hours to complete, with longer hikes available on the multi-day option. If you think you’d prefer a more relaxed pace and shorter one to three hour hikes, we recommend checking out our ‘Kiwi’ trip. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about the various options.
Winter Rimu New Zealand Winter Adventure
- 14 Days
- US$4,599 + tax
May to September is one of the best times to explore New Zealand. Our maritime climate ensures we have relatively mild winters, we’ll almost always have the tracks to ourselves and the snow-capped mountains make an even more dramatic backdrop than in summer – and usually you can get a great deal on flights! Years ago, we adapted our signature Rimu trip to suit the cooler conditions by adding skiing and snowboarding options, along with some of the South Island’s best hikes. This adventure is the perfect excuse to escape the heat!
Activity level: This is one of our more adventurous trips, but has options to suit a range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically hikes on the ‘Winter Rimu’ range between three and six hours to complete, with a longer more challenging hike on the Copland Track.