The short but spectacular Hokitika Gorge Walk had been recommended by friends, and so we took the 30-odd kilometre diversion from the main road (and the town of Hokitika) when on our first West Coast road trip. With overcast weather I did not expect the vibrant blues and greens I’d seen online, and had adjusted my expectations accordingly. But when we got there the colours were intense despite the sunless skies, so I think the gorge is worth a visit in any but the dreariest weather conditions.
The main sights can be seen very early on, but the 2km circuit is worth it for variety, and you can get away from the other visitors and into some nice forest on the return portion of the walk. The track is constructed and involves just a few ups and downs. I won’t bother with further track notes because its all very obvious, and there’s a map when you get there, but you can get lots more information on the DOC website. I will just mention the sandflies, which are an issue in many places on the West Coast, but were particularly virulent in the car park at the gorge. I’d put insect repellent on in advance and try not to dawdle for too long.
Hokitika Gorge Walk: The Scenery