Loop track, second bridge for Hokitika Gorge


The Hokitika Gorge is another step closer to a major upgrade as the Department of Conservation continues plans for a loop track through the scenic reserve.
Currently, people drive about 30 minutes from Hokitika for a short 10-minute walk to the gorge swingbridge and track.
However, DOC plans to transform the walk into an additional 30-minute loop track allowing visitors to walk in a one-way direction back to the car park.
DOC Hokitika area manager Ian McClure said the project had been through almost all of the department’s approval process.
“We are in the process of completing our final business case for the work.”
The $700,000 project included building a second suspension bridge across the Hokitika River, three new viewing platforms and an additional 1.2km of new track.
Mr McClure said the upgrade would be completed in the next financial year.
The gorge was last upgraded in 2009 and 2010, including a new car park and toilet facilities. Since the 2010 upgrade, DOC estimated that visitor numbers to the gorge had doubled to about 40,000 a year.
A 2008 concept plan by DOC and the Westland District Council allowed for a loop track.