Category Archives: Bella Vista Hokitika
Check-in on our New Zealand travel blog for latest news, events and updates - along with a splash of personality from the whole team at Bella Vista!
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Hokitika crams so much of New Zealand’s best into one cute little town. Stunning ocean sunsets, greenstone artistry, great tasting seafood, and Franz Josef Glacier, just 40 minutes down the road. And what better way to experience the best Hokitika attractions, then on foot or bike! We’ve rounded up the best cycle trails and short walks in Hokitika for avid hikers, bikers and nature lovers.
Hokitika Gorge (1-hour loop track)
Just 30 minutes east from the Bella Vista motel, is the gorgeous Hokitika Gorge, one of the most stunning walks near Hokitika. This gentle and popular track packs in not one, but two suspension bridges, allowing expansive views of the gorge and the glacier-fed turquoise waters which flow through it. (Don’t jump in however, as the Hokitika River is swift, cold, and dangerous all year round!)
The trail reveals a surprise at every turn, jam-packed full of natural beauty and manmade marvels from impressive native trees, expansive views, a swing bridge to bounce across and curving boardwalks. A large rocky outcrop provides a perfect spot to snap photos with the aqua-tinted river and gorge walls, as your backdrop. Photo’s pop best on a clear sunny day when the water sparkles with a backlit effect. You’ll enjoy spectacular views from the 90-metre suspension bridge of the upper Hokitika valley and the Southern Alps before entering a forest canopy of towering Miro, Rimu and Kamahi trees. This accessible two-kilometre track is one of the best things to do in Hokitika and a visitor highlight.
Dorothy Falls Track (2-minutes – that’s right!)
For waterfall fans, combine the Hokitika Gorge walk with a detour to the impressive Dorothy Falls for a refreshing dip in its natural plunge pool. Don’t let the winding gravel entrance road put you off as it’s likely you’ll have this natural treasure all to yourself. And best of all, it’s only a short two-minute trek to the Falls from the carpark. Afterwards, head to a picturesque picnic spot on nearby Lake Kaniere, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes and a popular spot for both water sports and birdwatching.
The Treetop Walk
Head 15-minutes south from the Bella Vista motel and you might spot a tall metallic nest peeking above the dense forest canopy. Turn off the highway and you’ll realise it’s not a disused air traffic control tower, but the highest vantage point of the Hokitika Tree Top Walk. This Meccano-like series of interconnecting steel bridges and forest viewing platforms, is one of the top things to do in Hokitika and a West Coast must-do.
The nearly half-kilometre walkway starts with a gentle ascent into a canopy of Rimu and Kamahi trees bursting with native birdlife. Along the way, informative panels provide insight on the rainforest and West coast ecosystem, a natural habitat for many endangered species. The cherry on the top is the aforementioned ‘Hokitika Tower’, a spiral 100-step staircase up to a 40-metre viewing platform. Here you’ll enjoy expansive views of nearby Lake Mahinapua, the ocean and snow-tinged Southern Alps.
The next stop is the Mahinapua Springboard, a cantilevered viewing platform, to view the black swans, mallard ducks and white herons, peacefully gliding on the lagoon below. Look out for parakeets and tui too, in the surrounding forest.
This enjoyable 45-minute canopy walk is one of the best walks near Hokitika, revealing timeless native trees from on high and a slice of New Zealand’s under threat rainforest. While future generations may miss out, you don’t have too so add this unique attraction to your ‘Hokitika to do’ list.
West Coast Wilderness Trail
Hokitika is the main gateway to The West Coast Wilderness Trail, so hire a bike, grab a gourmet sandwich from the Hokitika Sandwich Shop and hit the track for a day ride from the Bella Vista Motel. The Trail is part of the national Great Rides network and can be bitten off in short chunks or ridden over four days. You’ll cycle east from Hokitika into the surrounding hills on a smooth, well graded trail towards Greymouth and enjoy views of wild landscapes, the rugged coastline and Southern Alps.
We can help book daily shuttles to different sections of the 132-kilometre trail and assist with your bike hire too. After a full day’s cycling, you can return to the comforts of the Bella Vista Motel Hokitika and a well-deserved good night’s sleep.
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Hokitika’s cool town cachet is well deserved with its artsy vibe, annual Wild Food Festival and rugged West Coast scenery. But the town’s most popular attraction is poised peacefully above your head in a native forest canopy, just south of the Bella Vista Motel.
Guest blogger, Liz Lyons, shares her family’s experience on the West Coast Tree Top Walk, one of the best things to do in Hokitika.
Entertaining two teenage boys on a South Island road trip can be a challenging task. The distances are long, the fast-food chains are few, and the Wi-Fi dead zones are parental purgatory. Announce that you’re taking them on a ‘Hokitika tree top walk,’ and the backseat groans are deep and long. But once my two Neanderthals had sprinted up a 100-step spindly tower to breathlessly take in one of the best views on the West Coast, my reputation as ‘fear factor Mum’ was restored. And best of all: they had no idea this aerial canopy walk even existed.
It was a rare blue-sky day, when we stepped on the West Coast Treetop Walk, an aerial Meccano-like series of interconnecting steel bridges and viewing platforms, just 15 minutes south of Hokitika. The walkway’s design came from the same team behind four popular canopy walks in Australia, and is now regarded as one of the top things to do in Hokitika, drawing visitors from all over.
The nearly half-kilometre walkway starts with a gentle ascent into the canopy of Jurassic-looking Rimu and Kamahi trees. Along the way, are informative panels on the rainforest eco system, Hokitika history and the native birdlife.
The big boy magnet is the ‘Hokitika Tower’, a long spiral staircase leading up to a 40-metre viewing platform, which can sway in the high West Coast winds.
Luckily the day we visited, the weather played ball and we enjoyed expansive views from a motionless Hokitika Tower, of nearby Lake Mahinapua, the wild Tasman Sea and the snow-capped Southern Alps. The boys even consented to a family photo without pulling faces; a miracle in itself.
Back on the lower level, the next intrepid stop is the Mahinapua Springboard, a cantilevered viewing platform, which the boys joyfully stomped across, quickly clearing the deck of anxious visitors. The black swans and white herons, gliding peacefully across the serene lake below, ignored the shrieks from the deck above. The boys’ Dad, no less.
Afterwards, over cheese toasties and C4 coffee at the adjacent Tree Tops café, one of the best outdoor places to eat in Hokitika, my lads boasted about conquering the highest manmade tree walk in New Zealand. While the highlight for their Mum, was getting up close to giant trees and viewing these timeless treasures from the ‘top down.’ Who knows if future generations will get to hover above beautiful rainforest like this? All the more reason to add the Hokitika Tree Top Walk to your ‘Hokitika to Do List’, as this was a memorable experience we’d repeat in a heartbeat.
- The Hokitika Tree Top walk is a leisurely 45-minute canopy walk along a high steel viewing platform, over 450 metres long.
- Pricing: Adults $32, children $16, or $77 for a family of four.
- Opening hours: Summer Hours: 9am – 5pm, Winter Hours: 9am – 3:00pm
- Fully accessible apart from the narrow tower stairs. A special motorised wheelchair is available on request.
- Open rain and shine - umbrella hire and ponchos for sale.
- Visit treetopsnz.com
Getting there: A 15-minute drive south of Hokitika
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Bella Vista Hokitika is proud to announce Ange Williams as the new business manager at Bella Vista Hokitika taking over from Dale & Claire Truscott who remain as owners of the business but have now ‘retired’ to Geraldine.
Ange has worked in the motel industry for 14 years – and of that, has spent almost 11 years of that at Bella Vista Hokitika, so she is a very familar face to our regular customers. She has been motel minding and wokring as a full time cleaning supervisor.
Ange is a born and bred West Coaster and lives and breathes West Coast Hospitality.. Married to Barry who is the On-Farm Asset Manager at Westland Milk Products, they have two children Daniel 16 & Kaycee 11.
They are a family who love sport. Daniel & Kaycee are very enthusiastic sports people and have kept them busy over the years organising and fundraising for various trips around the country and overseas involving rugby, netball & basketball.
Ange is super excited to be given the opportunity to manage Bella Vista Hokitika, keeping the standards hight and providing guests with a great stay. She looks forward to hosting you.
For more information or to book Bella Vista Hokitika please click here.
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For any one heading on holiday or taking a journey a sunrise or sunset can be an iconic part of your experience. Some may argue that it is an essential element to any great trip and we can assure you that when travelling to New Zealand you will have a great time.
Watching dawn break and the sun follow shortly after is always memorable, particularly if you have got up early to see it. Finding the perfect spot in the evening to share and enjoy with friends and family as you watch the sun go down can also be very special. If you record the occasion with a photo there is no doubt it will take pride of place in both your photo album and memory. Recollections of spectacular colours dance together as sounds all blur into an occasion of happiness and wonderful memories.
Being an island nation and surrounded by oceans stretching to infinity both east and west, New Zealand is uniquely well-placed for this experience. The Pacific Ocean gives the days first light to New Zealand along the east coast whilst the Tasman Sea swallows the sun in the west at the end of the day. Being a relatively small nation, it is not difficult to traverse between coastlines and capture both the sun rising and setting across the sea in the same day. Not that we would necessarily advise that, however, because it would create an unnecessary rush between coasts.
Any well-planned itinerary should definitely allow time and so it may be that you choose a different option to capture the sunset or sunrise and that is to get amongst the mountains. With the spine of New Zealand carried by the Southern Alps in the South Island and the Volcanic Plateau in the centre of the North Island, there are lots of options here to obtain your perfect first light or sundowners experience.
With 27 locations through the country, Bella Vista has motels which are well-placed to help you achieve your ‘sun time’ goal. Have a read of the following suggestions and plan your travels accordingly.
The most obvious place to start is Gisborne, commonly known as the first city to see the rising sun – every day! Gisborne Bella Vista is well placed to access not only the heart of the city by car or by foot, but it is a great location to head a little bit further out of town and explore more of the East Cape. But where is the best place to see the sunrise we hear you ask? Wainui Beach often takes the headlines but one recommendation is to head further up to Makorori Beach, a lovely locals beach north on State Highway 35 with great views of the coast from the lookout. It is popular with surfers but also those wanting to see the start of the day. Sunsets aren’t too shabby here either as the light of the day disappears behind you creating a wonderful warm glow. If you want something closer to town, Kaiti Hill is a look-out point which you can reach by walking, biking or by car. With views out to sea and right across Gisborne, you’ll be well set to see the new dawn. Gisborne Bella Vista will be more than happy to help you with the local knowledge that you need, including heading further around the East Cape where there are some other terrific sunrise spots including East Cape lighthouse and Anaura Bay.
Wellington is another great North Island destination to watch the sunrise. An early start from the Wellington Bella Vista to head up Mount Victoria that stands closely behind your Wellington accommodation will bring brilliant rewards. As the sun eases up behind the hazy shadowy outlines of distant mountains, you’ll watch the city catch the light and come to life in the dawn sunlight. With views of the city, the harbour, planes and ferries arriving and leaving, you really get a sense of the day beginning. Mount Victoria can be a challenging walk but the team at your Bella Vista motel will know the best way to go and critically the best time to ensure you make the most of this peaceful time of day.
For terrific sunsets in the North Island it might sound too obvious but we would point you to New Plymouth, New Zealand’s most westerly city. With our Bella Vista accommodation set right in the heart of town, you have the most perfect location to enjoy the highlights of the region and you’re also not too far from a popular sunset spot. Back Beach overlooks Sugar Loaf Marine Park and is a short 10 minute drive from your New Plymouth accommodation. Taking in the sunset at this spot seems to be the highlight for many visitors and comes highly recommended. Take your time to end the day and enjoy a wander or just
Heading to the South Island, we’re going to take you straight to Bella Vista Hokitika accommodation, a motel set in the most delightful West Coast town that happens to be directly adjacent to the beach. Not only that, but Hokitika has a beach called Sunset Point which is a 3 minute drive from the hotel or a 15 minute walk. As the name suggests, it is a great place to watch the sunset and a quick look at Trip Advisor confirms this with a 5 out of 5 star rating.
“This is the place to watch the sunset each day as the sun kisses the ocean and disappears into the water. Plenty of photo opportunities with drift wood sign spelling out the towns name.”
Photos from previous travellers instantly draw you to want to visit the town so don’t delay. If you hadn’t heard of Hokitika previously be sure to add it to your itinerary and book for two nights, not just one. Our Hokitika motel has handy maps to guide you the right way and will also be able to tell you what time you need to be there by to enjoy the most of the sun descending into the sea.
Set in the heart of the mountains in the southern region of New Zealand, Queenstown may be completely landlocked but here you can view a wonderful sunset, sunrise and see the southern nights stars in between. For the early risers, a trip in the car up the public road to Coronet Peak will position you perfectly to watch the first light of the day cast itself across the Wakatipu basin. As the sun comes up in the distant west, you will see bands of light rising behind mountains and the reflections of early sunlight casting shadows which create wonderful effects on the valley floor far beneath you. It is a magical time of day and the beautiful views keep growing as the new daylight chases down the Remarkables and onto Lake Wakitipu. Queenstown Bella Vista will advise you on the best timings to head out and the which route to take to capture these views. The team at the centrally located Queenstown accommodation motel will also point you toward Queenstown lakefront in time for a perfect sundowners. The beach at Queenstown Bay can become very busy during the evening on a warm sunny day but it is very much worth finding a spot after purchasing some fish & chips and sit there as the sun sets behind Ben Lomond. Some would say this is the best show in town but wait, have you looked at the stars?
Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier
It might sound strange, but another perfect sunrise spot is actually on the West Coast near Fox Glacier and within a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier. Lake Matheson takes pride of place as the sun rises above the snow-capped mountains perfectly reflect in the still lake waters. It's a special spot and close to both Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier accommodation and Bella Vista Fox Glacier motel.
Dunedin, Mosgiel & Christchurch
Two other favourite spots we have in the South Island for sunsets are Dunedin’s St Clair beach and New Brighton Pier in Christchurch. Luckily both have Bella Vista’s nearby, Bella Vista offers a great Mosgiel accommodation option just 10 minutes’ drive from Dunedin or you can stay at the Dunedin Bella Vista itself. Bella Vista Christchurch apartments and motel is located on Bealey Avenue, a 15 minute drive from New Brighton. If you happen to be spending your last night in New Zealand before flying home from Christchurch Airport, take time to head to the pier in the late afternoon and enjoy a memorable end to your holiday.
We’d love to hear from you where you have enjoyed your most memorable New Zealand sunrise or sunset so feel free to leave your comments on the Bella Vista Facebook page or share your photo on Instagram with the tag #bellavistanz
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If you are travelling to New Zealand or are a resident Kiwi, there is a good chance you're already aware that New Zealand motels offer a great option for your overnight accommodation needs.
With 27 motels nationwide, Bella Vista is well placed to cater for anyone requiring a motel stay. They are affordable, comfortable and convenient plus in most instances, you will get a better feel for your locality. Whether you stay at Bella Vista Oamaru, Bella Vista Hamilton or Bella Vista Queenstown you will enjoy the hospitality of your Bella Vista host and be assured that each motel is Qualmark endorsed.
Unlike hotels, motels in New Zealand are not big complexes, will not have an on-site restaurant, swimming pool, lobby area, nor different staff for each department. But then you don't have to pay for these extras either! By comparison, Bella Vista Motels will have a welcoming reception area, a convenient carpark, some public spaces such as a garden or BBQ area and guest units within a secure courtyard.
As Bella Vista's are managed by the owners/operator, you will certainly enjoy Bella Vista's genuine kiwi hospitality; a laid back and down to earth style and attitude.
Up to this point, if you have now decided to make a reservation with Bella Vista Accommodation Nationwide, here are 10 light-hearted tips you really should know before you arrive at the motel
1. There's no slippers
Yep. So there it is. We thought we'd get this out of the way first. Bella Vista nor New Zealand motels in general offer complimentary slippers. We understand you're disappointed so do make sure you pack your own.
2. Bella Vista motels are two storeys tall and do not have an elevator
Requests cannot always be guaranteed, but if you'd prefer to be on the ground floor please make sure you book with the motel and place your request directly rather than via a booking websites.
3. Please don't dry your clothes on the heater
Be very careful as it will create a significant safety risk. Covering a heater can cause fire.
4. Leave your luggage in the car
On your arrival, relax and leave your belongings in your car. Save your time and energy so that you only have to carry your luggage once, from your car to your room, after you have checked in.
5. Bella Vista Motel reception is not open 24/7
Bella Vista owner operators live on-site and do go to bed at night. They need their rest to ensure they can be bright and look after you during the day. So if you are going to check-in later than the advertised office hours, please make sure you let your host know.
6. Check-out time is 10 o'clock
For Bella Vista and most motels in New Zealand, check-out time is 10am. You can request a late-check out from your host which may be available.
7. Drying Dishes
In New Zealand we dry the dishes with a tea towel after being washed and then put them back in the cupboard. Just a friendly request not to put wet dishes back in the cupboard!
8. Enjoy an electric blanket
Electric blankets are terrific inventions and it seems that many hotels don't even know they exist. They are particularly useful in winter. Simply turn it on at least an hour before go to bed to get your bed warm and then turn it off once you're in bed before you sleep.
9. Make your own breakfast
Every Bella Vista room features a kettle and toaster, complimentary tea, coffee and milk. So feel free to add some extras and put together a half-decent breakfast before you leave.
10. Be Aware of the T&C's
Terms and Conditions sound so tedious but they are there for a reason. So it is important that you understand them once you have completed your booking. Look specifically for cancellation and amendment policies so you can be sure your booking won't become problematic.
With these tips now safely stored, head to www.bellavista.co.nz and book your next stay.
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Today, Wednesday 7th February is global #bookdirect day. It’s the one day in the calendar year where the hospitality industry including the 27 nationwide Bella Vista Motels would like to remind our valuable customers that you can Book Direct with Bella Vista New Zealand and that you don’t have to book via an Online Travel Agent.
But why Book Direct we hear you cry. Well here’s a few reasons:
1. The Best Price.
Don’t always believe what you read and hear! You will always get a better price booking with your host. It costs them less to receive your booking over the phone, on the Bella Vista website or by email as they don’t have to pay agent commission - so ignore those annoying adverts and visit www.bellavista.co.nz or dial our Freephone reservation number 0800 235 528. Quite often you might even receive a special offer.
Enjoy the most favourable booking conditions with no hassle of having to work through a faceless intermediary. Phone your host and they are going to be more than happy to assist every single time. Surely that has to be better than contacting an offshore call centre and finding out no one really wants to help you amend your booking.
3. Local Knowledge.
Whilst making your reservation, your host will answer all your questions about your stay without hesitation and no doubt offer some friendly advice at the same time. Take your time to pick their brains to make the most of your visit.
4. Secure your favourite room.
By booking direct and talking to your host, you can request your preferred room. Whether it’s a garden view, an upstairs or downstairs studio, make your request and fingers crossed the room is available. This simply isn’t possible to do with an online travel agent.
5. Help is at hand!
Have you ever had a booking with an online travel agent go wrong? Let’s just say the booking engine has a failed and you have booked a room that you think is available when in actual fact it isn’t. It’s not your fault. It’s not the motel or hotels fault but you’re the one left to pick up the pieces. If you want to avoid this disastrous scenario, book direct every time.
6. Book Now, Pay Later.
Secure your booking and pay when you arrive. That’s always going help with the holiday cash-flow
7. Earn Bella Vista Rewards.
Only customers who Book Direct are entitled to collect Bella Vista Rewards. If you Book Direct you will earn 5 points every time you stay which can be saved and then cashed in against a future stay. So booking direct is not only cheaper but we give you something back – how good is that!* *available at participating Bella Vista's only
8. Support the New Zealand economy!
Every time you book via one of these monolithic online travel agents, your money is leaving the country and only a small portion gets returned to your host when you stay. It may be you don’t care whether the government is able to capture it’s GST slice, but why should other countries profit either.
9. Put a smile on your hosts faces.
There is nothing your host will like more than a booking that has come directly to them. You making them happy will in turn increase the likelihood of them making your stay even better!
10. Free Continental Breakfast.
If you Book Direct on the Bella Vista website today, Wednesday 7th February, we’re going to give you a free breakfast when you stay. Just as a little way of saying thanks.
- Visit www.bellavista.co.nz
- Call 0800 235 528
- Email [email protected]
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In the modern digital age, every person travelling with a smartphone, iPad or other device has the opportunity to both read and post reviews and ratings on their overnight experience.
Whether they choose to leave their thoughts and opinions on Trip Advisor, Google, or a booking agent’s website, this very public feedback has guaranteed that New Zealand accommodation standards must remain high and guest expectations are met every time.
The evolution of user-centric feedback is an overwhelmingly positive development for the travel and tourism industry and ensures the general public can be fully informed about their purchasing decision by peers rather than by some clever marketing words or sales pitch. It’s the way things should be.
The digital feedback revolution is something that the Bella Vista Accommodation network fully supports. All positive feedback allows our terrific motel operators to take comfort that they are delivering a great experience. Of course, no motelier wants to receive a poor review but when that does occasionally occur, more often than not, it’s an easy fix and we are able to improve our offer.
One critical point that the customer seems to miss when using peer-to-peer reviews, however, is that these ratings are really only scratching the surface and are simply a superficial overview. Important questions that all New Zealand motels should be able to answer often get left unasked. Those question should include:
- How robust are your health and safety policies and practices?
- What does your businesses environmental footprint look like?
- Do you engage and give back to your local community ?
- Do you have an emergency plan to ensure I can rely on you in the unlikely event of a natural disaster?
- What do your cleaning schedules and systems look like and do they meet not just international standards by my standards?
This is where Quality really comes into the equation of deciding where you want to stay. In Bella Vista’s opinion, only accommodation operators who have been audited by a recognisable external and independent organisation can really promote their accommodation business with any kind of credible quality or star rating.
Bella Vista works closely with Qualmark, New Zealand’s official quality assurance
organisation who provide a trusted guide to quality travel experiences in New Zealand. Qualmark's business advisors visit Bella Vista motels at least once a year ensuring we
are checked against best- practise operating standards and the optimum customer
solid processes as audited by Qualmark result in a better product. Furthermore, research
shows that an identifiable mark of quality is an important deciding factor when customer’s
etermine where they book. Certainly, any motel promoting itself as ‘self-rated’ does not
provide the necessary credibility any guest to New Zealand deserves.
From 4 Star rated Bella Vista Queenstown in the south to 4.5 Star rated Bella Vista Whangarei in the north, Bella Vista takes pride in the fact that we are the only motel chain in New Zealand that is Qualmark endorsed across each of our 27 comfortable and convenient locations.
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Have you ever found a destination and wanted to stay longer or booked an extra night to continue exploring and enjoy your time away? Let us introduce you to Hokitika. It's an absolute gem. A delightful West Coast town with plenty on offer to see and do.
Naturally, we'd recommend you base yourself at the Bella Vista Hokitika motel accommodation, situated only 5 minutes’ walk from the town centre shops and the beach – a superb location! And with off-street parking, you can leave the car and walk or get out exploring on your bike.
The great thing about Hokitika is that it is so close to the NZ native bush, its steeped in history from the Gold Rush and has many attractions and activities that are free. It's a destination that won’t break the bank, will guarantee full days visiting attractions and activities and give you the chance to put your feet up at the end of the day and enjoy a sundowner.
Friends recently had 4 nights at their Hokitika accommodation (they originally booked 3 nights) and their hosts Dale and Claire at Bella Vista were fantastic offerings some great tips about the local area and attractions. Dining was also easy as the Bella Vista rooms all have kitchenettes and the supermarket is a 2-minute drive away. A popular fish’n’chip shop, pizzeria, bakeries and other great restaurants are also only within a 5-minute walk.
Here are some of the attractions they managed to tick off the list and some they have marked for a return holiday in the future.
Sunset Point & Hokitika Beach
The West Coast gets some spectacular sunsets and what better place to view one than from Sunset Point at the entrance to the Hokitika Harbour. While you watch the sky turn shades of pink and orange, the kids can scramble over the rocks, collect driftwood, scour the beach for Pounamu (NZ Jade) or hang out on the replica of the ‘Tambo’ shipwreck.
A beautiful lake located 30km southwest of Hokitika amongst lush native bush. Lake Kaniere is steeped in history and is a great place to explore by way of the many trails. From short walks like the Kahikatea Forest Walk, the trees here are known as ‘Giants of the Forest’ and are New Zealand’s tallest forest tree and have been around since the Jurassic period. Another trail delivers you to a magical place featuring Dorothy Falls or takes the longer historic Kaniere Water Race Walkway. Whichever way you head, take a picnic and easily amble away the day.
The Hokitika Gorge can be combined in a scenic loop with Lake Kaniere and Dorothy Falls. The bright turquoise waters make a vivid contrast to the surrounding bush and rocky outcrops of the Hokitika river and are well worth the visit. It’s an easy walk from the carpark into the forest to a viewing platform that looks down onto the stunning Hokitika Gorge. From here continue till the track emerges onto a swing bridge and more stunning views. Still, further, the track then continues to another viewing platform or down onto a small beach. It's magical.
Hokitika Heritage Trail & Township
The heritage trail is an 11km loop around the town that takes in interesting Goldrush sites, buildings, statues and views. There are information panels along the way that bring the history to life.
Hokitika is home to many artisans providing a wide range of arts and crafts. Pounamu (NZ Jadeor was otherwise known as Greenstone) and gold are sourced locally and feature in many of the works. Wander around town and visit these craft shops to watch the artists at work – discover the art of jade carving and glass blowing. Its interesting for all ages. You can even have a go at carving your own jade or bone piece.
Just as the name suggests Goldsborough is known for its gold-mining history and scenic surrounds. You can get out searching for gold on some of the great little walks in the area. The 20-minute Tunnel Terrace Walk is a great option for kids as it starts and ends through old gold mining tailrace tunnels. The track meanders through a regenerating forest and through old gold workings.
Glow Worm Dell
You should never pass up an opportunity to see glow worms in the NZ bush. Our friends had a wonderful experience. While visiting a local family they were taken through a creek on their property that was dense with bush on both sides. As they waded down the creek at night, apparently they were completely absorbed in the magical fairylike lights of the glow worms whilst the stars twinkled through the canopy of the bush. Sounds amazing!
Hokitika has an easily accessible Glow Worm Dell which is a must see, located just north of the town on the main road. A 50-metre track leads to a natural fern grotto by day and a magical world of glow worms by night. Take a torch and the coolest thing is that is free!!
Treetop Walk & Café
Located 15 minutes south of Hokitika, experience a walk amongst the canopy of the mature rimu forest on a 450 metre long elevated steel walkway, viewing tower and gently swaying cantilever. Spectacular views can be had of nearby Lake Mahininapua, the surrounding forest and the Southern Alps.
Hokitika promotes itself as a Cool Little Town. And we think quite rightly so.
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Haere Mai Hokitika! Described as a ‘cool little town’, Hokitika serves a great place to stay, a gateway to the West Coast, and a pretty cool destination in its own right – not least as the celebrated host of the annual Wild Food Festival. Hokitika can also uniquely lay claim to both the Tasman Sea and Mt Cook as the scenic backdrop to its picturesque setting.
There is so much on offer in the town; Enjoy exploring the vibrant arts scene, delve into eclectic mix of independent stores, soak up the pioneer spirit at the Hokitika museum, seek out your very own personal Pounamu, or simply relax at some of the many fantastic eateries including Ocean View Restaurant and enjoy some true West Coast hospitality.
Situated right on the beach, Hokitika is compact and easy to explore by foot. On fair weather days, be sure to take a late afternoon walk to the aptly named Sunset Point as you’re guaranteed a spectacular West Coast sundowners.
Beyond the town itself, you have the option to take a daytrip to the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier to the south, or Punakaiki Pancake Rocks to the north. Closer at hand, however, are a couple of scenic gems which are a little off the beaten track.
Hokitika Gorge is a must-do, an incredibly impressive natural formation set within lush native bush. Make sure you take time to stop at Lake Kaniere on the way. The calm tranquility of Lake Mahinapoua is also well worth a visit as is a loop drive that includes Goldsborough, an historic gold-mining town. For those wanting to get a little more adventurous, try the excellent West Coast Tree Top Walk or get up in the air with Wilderness Wings and take a scenic flight over the Southern Alsp and see Mount Cook up close.
Hokitika can be easily reached. Direct flights arrive frequently to Hokitika airport courtesy of Air New Zealand or jump in a car for a breathtakingly scenic three hour journey from Christchurch via Arthur’s Pass.
If you are set for a visit, we would definitely recommend you find a copy of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize novel ‘The Luminaries’. It’s a great way to introduce you to the old port town of Hokitika and what life was like in the mid-1860s gold-rush times. It’s an absorbing read full of interesting characters. Many of the locations described in the book can still be found as you wander around town.
And finally, before we forget, you’ll need some accommodation in Hokitika. Motel accommodation is possibly your best choice with Bella Vista Hokitika offering everything you need and only a stone’s throw from the town centre. If you do stay at Bella Vista Motel Hokitika you are in great company - Eleanor Catton stayed in Room 16 whilst promoting her book in March 2014.
Fancy a free trip to Hokitika? Well here's an amazing opportunity. Visit the Bella Vista Facebook page Make sure you click LIKE and leave a comment as to why you want to visit Hokitika and you’re in the draw to win a two night stay with some fabulous inclusions. Refer to www.bellavista.co.nz for full details. Competition closes 4pm, 2nd September 2016. Good Luck!
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Founded in 1998, the Bella Vista Accommodation Network quickly spread across the country creating a comprehensive motel chain of 27 quality motels from Bella Vista Invercargill in the scenic south to Bella Vista Whangarei in the winter-less north.
Over the following 18 years, tens of thousands of guest nights and a good number of hearty breakfasts delivered, Bella Vista motels have welcomed visitors from right across New Zealand and the world. Whilst Bella Vista has been open for business, it has forged a strong reputation for convenience and quality becoming a preferred choice enabling tourists to visit New Zealand’s beautiful scenic locations, facilitating business travellers a convenient place to stay when criss-crossing the country for work and in all cases, a trusted overnight stop.
Whilst the Bella Vista story continues to unfold, a question was recently asked which stopped us dead in our tracks; “Has anyone stayed at all 27 Bella Vista motels?” A quick delve into our records was unable to offer any conclusive results. Even a poll amongst the Bella Vista team came up short. The record for the most Bella Vista motels stayed in by any one individual was 24. Only 24, that can’t be right!! As you can imagine, we’re now on the hunt for anyone who can claim to be part of what we imagine is a very exclusive group. Have you stayed at all 27 Bella Vista’s?
The geographic spread of the Bella Vista chain ensures that not only do most major New Zealand towns and cities feature properties, such as Bella Vista Christchurch or Bella Vista Dunedin, but so do popular tourist destinations such as Bella Vista Franz Josef and Bella Vista Queenstown. Do you travel for work and have decided to use our chain to cater for your accommodation? Perhaps you’ve decided to undertake a New Zealand road-trip similar to these itineraries and whilst touring, you have used our motel accommodation network? Possibly a mixture of both work and pleasure at different times?
What is certain is if you have stayed at every 27 or even just a small handful - whether it is Bella Vista Hamilton, Bella Vista Queenstown or Bella Vista Fox Glacier to name just three, you are going to experience a four star Qualmark endorsed level of comfort and be entertained by some of New Zealand’s very best hosts.
So tell us, how many Bella Vista motels have you stayed at? With 27 in the network it takes a certain type of loyalty and commitment to tick them all off.
If you have stayed at all 27, we want to hear from you!
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