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hokitika gorge guide

==the cj way++

The CJ way Guide to Hokitika gorge


A gorge with unbelievably blue water


15-20 mins walk from parking



Best time to visit: all day

Jandals suitable


  • Coordinates of gorge: -42.955289, 171.015701

  • Coordinates of parking: -42.956713, 171.019584

  • Park in the carpark and follow the marked track all the way until the end (15 - 20 minutes).

 best time to visit? 

  • We can’t actually pick a best time to visit here as different times have different advantages. Early morning or late afternoon provides the best light and minimal crowds, however middle of the day certainly makes the water appear the bluest, but the shadows from the trees can be very harsh. One thing is for sure though, after rain is the worst time as the water turns grey and murky. 

 cj travel tips 

  • We have started searching the location tab on Instagram for Hokitika gorge and watching current stories to check the colour of the water and amount of flow in the river! We are ready to make a long drive if it hits that beautiful blue colour. Alternatively, you can check previous forecasts to see if there has been recent rain. 

  • If you are travelling by van, the Kokatahi Hotel has set up a little free camp with lovely facilities. They're super nice folks running the show and an awesome spot to support.

  • If you're swimming, be super super super careful. A kiwi recently died here (Summer 2020).

  • Lather yourself in insect repellent here. Sandflies are mad. Mad mad mad.

 cj photography tips 

  • We haven’t had the right conditions yet but we think a shot from the first viewpoint with a zoom lens and a person on the swing bridge would look awesome!

  • Polarising filter is a must here!

 what we found useful to pack 

​In addition to the usuals (camera gear, suitable clothing, water and food, first aid, etc.) we found the following items useful for Hokitika Gorge:

  • Two-ways for the swing bridge zoom shot!

  • Insect repellent.

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