Hokitika Gorge Walk

Hokitika Gorge Walk


45 Rankers Reviews

33 Face-to-Face

8 Hokitika

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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Couldn't really get much bluer....!
Hokitika Gorge
swim anyone


650 m one-way | 15 minutes one-way

Magnificent granite gorge with milky blue-green pools, backed by cliffs and a beautiful rimu forest. This area (a bit further up the gorge) is very popular with white water kayakers - extremeness.

The drive to the Gorge passes several West Coast dairy farms and a memorial to the victims of the Stanley Graham shootings.


From Hokitika, the gorge is about 33 km. Get yourself to Kaniere, on either side of the river. Hokitika Gorge is signposted from by the Arthurstown Bridge.

From Kaniere, follow Kaniere - Kowhitirangi through Kokatahi. Take a few right-left-rights along the farm road right angle intersections. For a while you are on Johnston Road and Nelson Road.

Eventually, follow Whitcombe Valley Road to the parking at the end. There are toilets here.


The well-graded track is suitable for wheelchairs to the viewing platform over the river and gorge.

Continue through the podocarp forest down to the swingbridge. On the far side, hang a left for more views of the gorge. The track ends at another viewing platform around 200 further on.

Return via the same track.


The turquoise waters are derived from the volume of glacial flour, fine rock carried in suspension. The river is fed from glacial meltwaters and the sediment load is transported, reflecting the blue parts of the spectrum.


Feature Value Info


South IslandWest CoastHokitika


  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 45.

Em's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

DO NOT RECOMMEND GOING TODAY. Roads are very flooded and more rain is due. Would likely make it there but very likely you’ll get stuck getting back after more rain. Currently rivers running over the roads. 14/11/19

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Mike Fricker's avatar

Mike Fricker

Ranking: 10/10

18Oct18. We come here every trip. A change since our last visit. A lot of work done here and, I think, nearly finished.
The car park has improves, mostly. The original bit is very rutted and our whale of a van wallowed horribly. Round the corner it is better and there is a larger park not yet open.
The walk to the bridge looks better and the walk from the bridge down to the river’s edge is better. Noticeably more people here than either of our previous visits.
The water was a beautiful colour, unlike last time. The weather and other factors play a part in that.
Worth the longish ride out there.

Tip. If going to Lake Kaniere from here, be aware that there are about 10k’s of narrow, gravel road around the south end of the lake past Dorothy Falls down to Hans Bay

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Pete's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Nearly didn't bother driving the 33km off the main highway but so glad we did. Some road works 15km out & also at the carpark but easy drive. Beautiful countryside drive & awesome swing bridge over the aqua coloured river.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Cefa's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

This is what started out to be the first of many swing bridges on our South Island Trip.
What a way to start....The drive there is nice, until we got to the entrance..They are working on the road and car parks, which by the looks of them really needed it, so I'm not gonna complain, just take extra care. The walk to the bridge is awesome, nice short and not too much of a steep grade. Perfect for those of us with disabilities The view from the look out is awesome and well worth the drive out there. The water I thought was amazing, but a local told us it was Milky..either way it was cool.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Katrina's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

One of my favorite places for a dip/swim! The water is too beautiful to deny on a hot, sunny day. Cold? Yes. Do-able? Totally. Don't be a pussy. The sandflies will eat you alive, so either cover up or keep moving! Witnessed some bridge-jumpers and monkey-style bridge-crossings - not advisable activities for the average visitor, but fun to be had for those who are capable. If you plan on having a picnic, don't leave your food scraps on the rocks you filthy foreign fucks! Sitting on the primo photo spot while you dip chips is fine, but consider the next visitors before you ruin their experience of paradise with your sloppy guacamole and salsa everywhere. Don't give a fuck that it's 'biodegradable' - bad karma bro. Drive there is nice. Plenty of parking, but when it's busy it can be tight and difficult on sloped gravel for larger 2wd motorhomes.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Jozef Pinkerton's avatar

Jozef Pinkerton


Ranking: 10/10

So beautiful. The drive was great, through lots of farmland. The actual gorge is lovely. Water so blue. Easy walk there.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Danielle's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

The water is so blue. The bridge was a little bit shaky, but an adventure! Standing on the big rock in the bay was/felt great.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Maarten's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

Short track close to Hokitika. Beautiful blue pools with swing bridge.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

A short 20-30 minute walk on a well maintained trail. Plenty of parking. WCs available in the carpark. The Gorge is beautiful.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in October 2016

victor diego's avatar

victor diego


Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful bridge over turquoise water. Easy and short walk. Nice spot!

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in October 2016

deborah cooper's avatar

deborah cooper


Ranking: 10/10

This place is stunningly beautiful. We saw the Gorge on a drizzly overcast horrible day, and it was amazing. Can only imagine what it looks like on a sunny day. Our favourite place in all of New Zealand.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Anouk Goemans's avatar

Anouk Goemans


Ranking: 6/10

Nice walk and swingbridge, but the water was not as blue-green as expected.....maybe because of all the rainfall but we were a bit disappointed given all the promising pictures at the i-Site and on the flyers.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in November 2016

CMG's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Definitely worth the drive! A wonderful walk to an impressive granite gorge with stunning blue pools, and great swing bridge. Epic and picturesque!

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner