Hokitika Gorge - A Must Do
Even if you are only here for one night, you have to take a drive out to the gorge. This is the number one activity in Hokitika. It is FREE! It is amazing! The walk is well maintained and easy. You can take strollers and part of it is wheelchair accessible.
It takes approximately 40mins to drive there from the town centre however there are two ways you can get there.
The more scenic (but longer way) is via Lake Kaniere where you drive around the lake. It also takes you past the beautiful Dorothy Falls. This is a 30sec walk from the road to the waterfall. The more rain there has been, the better the waterfall. A section of this road is gravel and has many corners so take care, go slow and most importantly, keep left.
The more direct route is a through Kowhitarangi. Still a beautiful drive but you don’t get to see the lake etc.
As you get nearer the gorge, the road narrows and becomes a gravel road. Please take care on this road as it is often busy with campervans and buses. Again – KEEP LEFT.
This is the swing bridge over the gorge. A fantastic spot to view the river. The more adventurous like to jump from here into the water. Note: the water is very cold as it is glacier fed, so take care if you do decide to go in.
This video will give you an idea of what it will be like. Watch and enjoy.
Our Top Tips
- Take bug spray. There are a lot of sandflies near the water.
- Don’t forget your camera.
- Take the more scenic route via Lake Kaniere.
- In summer it is busy so go in the early morning to beat the crowds.
- Wear sturdy footwear as the rocks can be slippery.
- Take some drinking water.
- Keep an eye on small children when you get near the gorge so they don’t slip on the rocks.
- Take care on the drive out as it is a narrow country road with many corners. Always keep left.
- You may like to pack a picnic to eat at Lake Kaniere. There are a number of picnic spots out there.