The first thing we noticed was the blue green color of the Hokitika River.
The area is about to be upgraded with the creation of a loop track, better access to the river, more parking, and larger toilets.
From the car park…
Follow the walking track for a few minutes through awesome West Coast bush before coming onto a viewing platform. From here we looked down to the stunning Hokitika Gorge and out to the lush farmland. You can take a wheelchair on this part of the track.
From the viewing platform…
We walked another 6 minutes along the wide boardwalks until reaching the swing bridge. We stopped here for a bit to admire the unique views of the blue-green water of the Hokitika River. You really get to see the Hokitika Gorge at its best from this viewpoint.
We walked further up the gorge for even better views…
Crossing the swing bridge we then turned left. After around 200m (10 minutes) of easy walking through the bush we crossed a small bridge, arriving at the second viewing platform. Great views looking out to the gorge upstream of the bridge. We popped down to the little beach nearby, just make sure you close the gate after you.
We walked even further up the gorge…
By returning to the junction just before the platform and turning left. Check out the lovely waterfalls as you walk along the boardwalk. We could just make out the river through the trees. After 5 minutes of easy walking we found the track crossed Elf Creek, where could see how the water had sculptured the granite bedrock.
After 200 metres of walking…
We crossed the impressive 90m suspension bridge that crosses the main channel of the Hokitika Gorge. Halfway across the bridge we stopped to admire the spectacular views of the Hokitika Gorge, with the mature bush and alps in the background.
After the bridge we found it…
An easy 30 min walk back to the carpark through a cute bit of the forest. Another bunch of great views is on the way and overlooks the river again.
Quick Facts about our walk through the Hokitika Gorge
- Location: Hokitika, South Island, New Zealand
- Distance: 2 km
- Time needed: 45 Minutes
- Difficulty: Very Easy
- Wheelchair Access: Only on one section
- Route: Double back
- Elevation: 73m
- Wet Feet: No
- Toilets: Yes
- Dogs: No
- Mobile Coverage: No
- Last Updated: Feb 2022
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Summary points about this walk
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Points of interest along the Hokitika Gorge
Hokitika Gorge Car Park
A pleasant 33 km drive from Hokitika and you’ll find the car park. There is plenty of room to park the car or a big motorhome like ours.
Hokitika Gorge Swing Bridge
Walk to the end of the car park to find the track, then just follow your nose. I must take my hat off to the boys who cut the track, well done. It is a gradual downhill walk to the stunning swing bridge.
Hokitika River, beautiful but dangerous
At the other end of the swing bridge turn to the left, there is a rough track running down to the river. You can then rock hop to the next bend. Don’t be tempted to go swimming, the Hokitika River is too strong, there have been a few deaths due to this.