BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > West Coast > Hokitika


Hokitika is one of the nicest towns on the West Coast. It has a beach and a few old buildings from the gold rush era, but the main attraction is greenstone jade (pounamu), which is mined nearby and carved in town. The jade shops cater for the tourist coaches that pass through, although otherwise it is a fairly quiet place.

Hokitika is also home to the annual Wild Foods Festival, which is held each March when around 20,000 people descend upon the small town to try such delicacies as earthworms, grasshoppers, huhu grubs, snails, sheep’s eyes and hare’s testicles.

If you’re heading south, Hokitika is the last sizable town before Wanaka, so take the opportunity to buy groceries, fill the car with fuel and use the ATM machines since you may not have the chance to do this for a while.

Practical information

Westland i-SITE Visitor Centre

Carnegie Building, 7 Tancred Street, Hokitika
Tel (03) 755 6166
Open summer Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm; winter Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm

Aim West Sports

20 Weld Street, Hokitika
Tel (03) 755 8947
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-1pm

Kodak Express Internet Outpost

15 Weld Street, Hokitika
Tel (03) 755 7768
Open Mon-Fri 8am-5.30pm, Sat 8.30am-3pm, Sun 10am-2pm

Coming & going

There are buses from Hokitika to Christchurch, Nelson and Queenstown. InterCity Coachlines (tel (03) 365 1113) stop at the Hokitika Travel Centre and Kiwi House (64 Tancred Street, Hokitika). Other buses including Atomic Shuttles (tel (03) 349 0697) and Nakedbus.com stop outside the i-SITE Visitor Centre (7 Tancred Street, Hokitika).

Hostel accommodation


124 State Highway 6, Hokitika
Tel (03) 755 8445
No booking fee when you book this hostel online at bug.co.uk

Drifting Sands Backpackers

197 Revell Street, Hokitika
Tel (03) 755 7612

Mountain Jade

41 Weld Street, Hokitika
Tel (03) 755 8007

Railway Hotel

Corner Sewell & Weld Streets, Hokitika
Tel (03) 755 8116

Riverview Cabins

154 Kaniere Road, Hokitika
Tel (03) 755 7440

Eating & drinking

There are quite a few good places to eat in Hokitika’s town centre. Adz Café (39 Tancred Street, Hokitika) has great fish and chips and all day breakfast. For drinks and bar meals, Stumper’s Bar (2 Weld Street, Hokitika) has the cheapest quality food in town and a great atmosphere, especially at night when locals and visitors alike drink and mingle in the bar.

For groceries, head to the New World supermarket at 116 Revell Street.

Sights & activities

Jade carving

There are several places in Hokitika where you can create your own jade carving. These include Bonz n Stonz (16 Hamilton Street, Hokitika; tel (03) 755 6504), which has jade carving workshops for $95 ($90 BBH) and bone carving for $75 ($70 BBH) and Just Jade Experience (197 Revell Street, Hokitika; tel (03) 755 7654), which charges from $20 to $180 depending on the complexity of the design.

West Coast Historical Museum

The West Coast Historical Museum has exhibits on local history and culture with displays on greenstone jade (pounamu) and the region’s pioneer beginnings.

Corner Hamilton & Tancred Streets, Hokitika
Tel (03) 755 6898
Admission $5
Open Jan-Mar 9.30am-5pm daily; Apr-Dec Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-2pm

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