The coastal town of Hokitika is renowned as the home of Pounamu/jade. Before the gold rushes, Maori were heading here for pounamu. Just north of the town is the Arahura River, home of pounamu. Its strength, durability and beauty meant it was used for weapons, tools and personal ornaments – and denoted great status!
As the birthplace of pounamu, Hokitika is a vital stop to learn about the stone and watch it being carved or learn to do this yourself. Traditionally, Pounamu must be gifted, and having it blessed before wearing it is customary.
Hokitika has had a varied history to date! The town is on the north side of the Hokitika River, 39km south of Greymouth. Hokitika is the gateway to the Glaciers (Franz Josef and Fox).
Major attractions and activities around Hokitika
Hokitika Gorge, Lake Kaniere, Lake Mahinapua, Treetop walkway, Kiwi Centre, Hokitika Museum, Glow worm dells Historic walk, Carve your own jade, Industrial Heritage Park, West Coast Wilderness Trail, Scenic Waterways, Glass blowing studio, Wilderness Wings, Goldsborough, Ross Goldfields.
Unique attractions for visitors
Pounamu – in the footpaths, on the beach, in the shops and you can carve your own!
Home of the prizewinning book ‘Luminaries’ by Eleanor Catton, Driftwood and Sand Festival’ Hokitika’s Wildfoods Festival, Hokitika Museum, Gateway to the Glaciers, Rainfall!
Hokitika Gorge Swingbridge, ‘Coasters’! Gold, Glow Worms, Sunset Point, West Coast Wilderness Trail, Seddon House (former Government Buildings now in private ownership but can be viewed from the footpath).
Westland District Council
36 Weld Street, Private Bag 704, Hokitika 7842 | www.westlanddc.govt.nz
Phone: 03 756 9010 or 0800 474 834