Hokitika Gorge

Turquoise Water from Ancient Glacial Melting

The drive out to the gorge is half the experience, the southern alps jutting in the distance while dairy farms abut the gravel road for several kilometers. The lot you park in is at the edge of what’s now a somewhat familiar jungle scene of ferns large and small. If you keep moving the sandflies wont swarm you (yes they bite, yes it hurts)- just keep moving; the view is worth it. A short trail leads to a suspension bridge which crosses the gorge. Max capacity is 1000kg (2200lbs… 1 ton) so you may need to wait your turn but the stunning turquoise water is already in view. The DOC (New Zealand’s Department of Conservation) had a few educational sites to read about it- the colour is from a combination of glacial melt which has specific minerals and snow melt. The tramp continues beyond the bridge- you can go down to the water or further into the bush. What you will probably be fixed on is the gorge itself, carved through dense jungle and large rocks the turquoise stream keeps moving.