New bridge for Hokitika Gorge

By Laura Mills

Detailed planning is under way for a second 70m-long suspension bridge near the top of the Hokitika Gorge to create a scenic loop track.
Currently, visitors drive up to 30 minutes from Hokitika, for a beautiful — but short — 10-minute walk.
The site received a well-received upgrade in 2009 and 2010, including a new car park and toilet facilities.
A Department of Conservation report to the West Coast Conservation Board meeting on Friday said the site for the second bridge had been surveyed and an engineer would now complete concept drawings and estimate the cost.
Marking for the track up the south bank of the Hokitika River had been finished.
Locations had also been identified for up to three new viewing areas offering unique and different views of the gorge, staff said.
DOC hopes to start work on the walking track next month, and complete the project in June 2014.
Since the 2010 upgrade, DOC estimates that visitor numbers to the Hokitika Gorge have doubled to about 40,000 a year.