Hokitika Heritage HoedownBeginner
Submitted by Corey Woodward
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Start anywhere along the route (maybe not the cemetery), directions are given clockwise. There are Heritage Trail signs along the way, they don't always make sense so follow these directions instead.
Assuming a start on Fitzherbert St, head up the hill on the road verge towards the lighthouse, no footpath here but it is a quiet and wide road. At the top of the hill turn right and run down the right side of the cemetery. Adjacent to the large trees head left through the mid point of the cemetery then turn right. Where the trees meet the road you'll find the start of the shared trail that takes you behind the airport. If you time your run right you may have a plane fly extremely close as you scoot past the runway.
Follow this trail until you meet up with Airport Drive, turn left and run the road verge until you come to Brian Waugh Lane, go right here. After 500m or so the trail cuts right into the bush, follow this until it pops out at the Hokitika Racecourse, turn left and follow the trail around the perimeter of the racecourse until you meet a road to your left which heads down the hill past the horse arena. Take care crossing the main road here and run towards the river (Westland Milk Products on your right) on Town Belt East.
Join up with the Wilderness Trail here and head right all the way to SH6, duck under the bridge (like actually duck... not much headroom there) and follow the river out to the river mouth - there's a lot of history on display along Gibson Quay as you pass. Head along the waterfront, past the Hokitika sign (photo op), and eventually drop down to the beach at the No Exit sign. Stay on the beach until you meet the large rock structure extending to the ocean, the trail cuts off the beach opposite Tudor St. Head left on Revell St, then right onto Spencer St. At the end of Spencer St veer slightly right as you cross the road and head down the accessway to a disused looking pedestrian railway crossing - look for trains! - cross carefully here and duck through the gap in the bushes back to the start point.
Features of interest
A great loop of Hokitika. Taking in a Historic Lighthouse, patches of native bush, parts of the Wilderness Trail, Historic Gibson Quay, a replica shipwreck memorial and the iconic driftwood Hokitika "sign".
Make Up of Run
Easy Single Track: 75%
Gravel Road: 5%
Sealed Road: 20%
Start almost anywhere along the trail.
Plenty of roadside parking along the route, especially along the waterfront.
Fairly easy circuit of Hokitika. In short, up the hill, diagonally through the cemetery, between the airport and the town, loop around the back of the race course, follow the river, and then along the beach to the start point.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
No obvious water sources noted.
Hokitika can receive a lot of rain, some parts of the trail are prone to surface flooding.
Be aware that high tide combined with significant river flows the path under the bridge at SH6 might flood - in this case cross over SH6 instead.
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