Hokitika Gorge

South Island NZ
Many walks are currently closed due to COVID-19. Please,
  • check the walk's official website to confirm if the track is open
  • turn back if it looks like the track is too busy when you get there

Hokitika Gorge, often referred to as the "Blue Gorge', due to its vivid turquoise water, swing bridge and surrounding of lush native bush, looks just too good to be true.

Lookouts
Bird Watching
No Dogs Permitted
Rainforest
Alpine
104m
Maximum Elevation
15m
Total Climb

Getting there:

From the town of Hokitika on the West Coast, take Stafford Street east out of town towards Kaniere, where you turn right (signposted) across the bridge to Kowhitirangi and on to the Gorge car park; a distance of about 33km.

Maps:

Hokitika Gorge

Route/Trail notes:

From the car park, take the gravel pathway in to the first lookout (100m), before descending down to the swing bridge and across, where the pathway takes you left down to the second lookout and the opportunity to scramble onto the riverside boulders.

Return by the same route.

Permits/Costs:

None.

Other References/Comments:

The water looks blue because it absorbs light at the red end of the spectrum, leaving only the blue light to reflect back to our eyes.

The sandflies can be pretty vicious here, so spray up before your walk.

Work is currently under way (2020) to continue the walk beyond the second lookout and create a loop back to the car park.

As with most South Island towns, there are always numerous tracks in and around the area. In this case most notably around Lake Kaniere.

Comments

Unfortunately, we did not see the 'vivid turquoise' waters, as a downpour the previous evening had brought down 'glacier flour' (finely ground rock), turning the waters a milky white colour as they thundered through the narrow gorge.

F.A.B. on 4 Mar, 2020

Where

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Nearby Walks

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