Hokitika Gorge, New Zealand

Hokitika Gorge is a breathtaking natural wonder located on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. With its crystal-clear blue waters, towering cliffs, and lush green forests, it is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Getting to Hokitika Gorge

Hokitika Gorge is located approximately 33km from the town of Hokitika, which is accessible by car, bus or plane. Visitors can fly into Hokitika Airport from several major cities in New Zealand, including Auckland and Christchurch, or take a bus or drive along the scenic West Coast Highway.

Exploring Hokitika Gorge

Once you arrive at Hokitika Gorge, there are several ways to explore and experience its natural beauty.

Walking and Hiking: There are several walking and hiking trails in and around Hokitika Gorge that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The most popular trail is the Hokitika Gorge Walk, which is a 15-20 minute walk that takes visitors through lush forests and across a swing bridge that spans the gorge.

Kayaking and Rafting: For those looking for a more adventurous experience, kayaking and rafting tours are available that take visitors down the stunningly blue waters of Hokitika Gorge.

Photography: Hokitika Gorge is a photographer’s paradise, with its clear blue waters, lush green forests, and towering cliffs. It is an ideal location for landscape and nature photography, especially during the golden hour when the sun casts a warm glow over the gorge.

Picnicking and Relaxing: Hokitika Gorge is a perfect location for a picnic or a relaxing afternoon spent by the water’s edge, taking in the stunning natural beauty of the area.

Tips for Visiting Hokitika Gorge

Dress Appropriately: The weather in Hokitika can be unpredictable, so it is important to dress appropriately for the conditions. Wear comfortable shoes for walking and bring a warm jacket or raincoat in case of rain or wind.

Be Mindful of the Environment: Hokitika Gorge is a protected natural area, so it is important to be respectful of the environment and to follow Leave No Trace principles when visiting. Take all rubbish with you and avoid damaging or disturbing the natural surroundings.

Check for Road Closures: During the winter months, the West Coast Highway leading to Hokitika Gorge can be closed due to heavy snowfall or icy conditions. Before visiting, check the road conditions and weather forecast to ensure safe travel.

Plan for Crowds: Hokitika Gorge is a popular destination, so it can get crowded during peak tourist season. To avoid crowds, try visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon.


Hokitika Gorge is a natural wonder that should not be missed on a trip to New Zealand’s South Island. With its stunning blue waters, lush forests, and towering cliffs, it is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Whether you choose to walk, hike, kayak, or simply relax by the water’s edge, Hokitika Gorge is a destination that will leave you breathless and awe-inspired.

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