Gold fever in Hokitika - Roadside Stories

A Manatū Taonga audio guide to the history of Hokitika's goldrushes and rejuvenation

Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide to West Coast goldrushes in the Video tab above.

After gold was discovered in 1864 a lively town sprang up at Hokitika. Within a few months it had 5,000 residents and 72 hotels. However, its port was dangerous, and many ships met their end on the bar at the river mouth. When the gold rush finished, Hokitika dwindled – though since 1990 its Wildfoods Festival has been popular with daring eaters.

Wrecks at Hokitika River mouth, 1866
Gold and gold mining
Eating huhu grubs
Johann Franz Julius von Haast

Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides that follow major road trips in New Zealand. The stories cover the places you’ll pass along the way – their people, their history, their cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit

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