Hokitika Gorge

South Island NZ

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.

Bird Watching
No Dogs Permitted
Maximum Elevation
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.


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.



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.


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

very nice short walk, water is quite turquoise. area is not too much of a detour from main road

Sam on 27 Nov, 2019


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