So… what is there to do in Hokitika?
“You mustn’t miss the sunset” were the last words we heard as the waitress cleared our table of dinner plates.
The sunset? Where better to view this than at the beach.
And right on cue as we arrive, the sun shyly ducks behind clouds. We wait patiently for it to show itself again before we start “snapping” away.
We love sunsets. We love the way the sky changes colour, the twinkle reflections on the water and the sight of the sun itself. We love how the horizon gobbles up the sun in an instant; how the air feels automatically different the minute the sun is out of sight.
The three must-dos (that are also free) when in and around Hokitika:
- the sunset
- the glow worms and
- Hokitika Gorge
As already described.
(2) Glow Worm Dell
This is free and easy to get to; easier than when we tried seeing glow worms on the North Island a few years back. No queues, no boats…. Only a short track, right off the main road out of Hokitika lies the Glow Worm Dell.
Be sure to go after dark. The track is pitch black with only lighting at the start, so bring a torch to see where you are going but turn it off when you are at the end.
If your timing is right, you will enter the area with only a few (hundred) speckles of blue-green glows but within minutes, the area is splattered with “a sky full of stars”. And if your timing is perfect, you will be lucky enough to get the place to yourself in complete silence – a little bit of magic right there in Hokitika. Unfortunately we were a little slack and did not take any pictures to share.
Word of advice: It’s not an epic experience, expect it to be short and sweet – it is a 5-minute walk from the car park and the viewing area isn’t huge.
(3) Hokitika Gorge
Don’t let the 30km detour deter you. It was by far ONE of the most incredible natural things we have laid our eyes on.
The colour of the water is like nothing we have seen before… so vibrant, so turquoise!The road to the car park of the gorge is narrow and sealed for most of the way. It becomes gravel on the last stretch. And then it is only an easy 10-15 minute walk down (with a swing bridge crossing included) to the gorge viewing platform.
We saw plenty and did plenty in the South Island of New Zealand and these three things were easily in the list of our favourites! So if you are ever in Hokitika, don’t miss these if you can help it.
Hokitika is located on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island – an adorable little town. It was a flying visit, one night only on the way to Arthur’s Pass from Franz Josef for us.
Have you been to Hokitika?
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