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Just 33 kms inland from Hokitika is the beautiful Hokitika Gorge – a glacial river with gorgeous turquoise-blue-green water and amazing rock formations, which form the steep sides of the gorge.
The road is well sign-posted from the Lake Kaniere turn-off and although you may feel you are never going to get there, the drive and the distance are well worth the effort. The gravelled section brings you to the extensive car-parking area, the entrance to the walking track and the information board. Some friendly wekas will be waiting for a morsel or two!
The easy track is lined with podocarp and hardwood forest and other typical New Zealand native flora and fauna. And at only 650m long it is not long till the swing bridge comes into view and provides extensive photo opportunities of not only the bridge, the gorgeous turquoise water and the cliffs but also well up the gorge.
Through the gate at the end of the bridge, the track becomes more obscure and the more adventurous will not find it difficult to pick their way over the rocks and down to the water’s edge. However, those not seeking to test the adrenalin levels will be content to admire the view and magnificence of the sheer rock walls of the gorge and the serene milky-blue water below.
The ambience created by the gorgeous views, the cliffs and glacial water make for a truly wondrous “New Zealand” experience with a little adventure thrown in. For those with little ones at foot, do take note of the signs though and keep a very firm hold on your children as although tranquil and inviting, one does not know what lies beneath the milky surface of the water.