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With its wide streets and historic buildings, Hokitika is certainly the West Coast’s most attractive small town. Smaller and quieter than Greymouth, it makes a more interesting overnight stop on the West Coast.

The self-guided Hokitika Heritage Trail includes 22 buildings and sights; most impressively the Carnegie Library built in 1908 and now home to the West Coast Museum.

Hokitika is also the country’s major center for the working of greenstone; the Arahura River, which reaches the sea just north of the town, is a traditional source of the jade (pounamu) which has become so iconic to New Zealand. Local artists carve jewelry and sculptures, and you can visit workshops and galleries to observe the process and purchase souvenirs. Other local handicrafts include wood and bone carving, glassblowing, pottery and gold jewelry.

Hokitika Wild Foods Festival

A celebration of the tastes of the wild West Coast, the annual wild foods festival has become a major event in New Zealand’s calendar. New wild foods are introduced every year and the list includes delicacies such as huhu grubs, fish eyes and venison tongue.

With a wealth of entertainment and live music alongside the stalls, the weekend-long event offers something for everyone and gets bigger and better every year.

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Map of Hokitika

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