News & Events

The Coast is alive with news, events and happenings. 

Read on below for all of our upcoming events in the wider West Coast region.

Events Listing

Tourism West Coast Events

West Coast Events

Event Information

Hokitika and Westland are renowned for several annual events focused on the outdoors or the unique West Coast environment.

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival
The Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is held annually in March and attracts between 6,000 and 10,000 people to the town.

Coast to Coast
The Coast to Coast multi-sport event held in February attracts up to 1,000 entries and up to five times that number of supporters. 

Driftwood and Sand Festival
The 
Driftwood Sculpture Festival is a summer celebration of art on the Hokitika beach. Held annually in late January, participants are invited to express themselves by creating sculptures using whatever they can find on the beach. Creations are judged at the end of the week and left for all to enjoy until the sea reclaims them.

Sand Dunes Classic
The annual Sand Dunes Classic is an opportunity for everyone, golfers and non golfers alike, to attempt the impossible hole in one and dress in traditional golfing attire.

Haast Whitebait Festival
The Whitebait Festival in Haast is held annually during the whitebait season and includes a variety of stalls, face painting, bouncy castle, whitebait cook off and whitebait racing, helicopter flights and live music. There is also normally a market day during the festival.

Other Events

Powerboat racing events are held at Lake Kaniere (about 15 kms inland from Hokitika) and recently the West Coast Wilderness Trail is being used for Ride the Wilderness.

The NZ Mountain Film Festival National Tour takes award winning films to audiences around NZ immediately after the Wanaka festival ends in July. A selection of the films are normally available for screenings in Hokitika. More information can be found at the festival website.

White water enthusiasts travel from around the world to experience kayaking on the West Coast rivers.

Children’s Day, held in March, is sponsored by the Hokitika Lions Club. This must-do family event in Cass Square of Hokitika is the largest one on the West Coast and all activities are FREE! Toys, games, mazes, entertainment, horse and fire truck rides, petting zoo and more.  

Hokitika’s Matariki Winter Festival is a series of fun community events, celebrating our cool little town in winter - shows, Christmas trees (in June!), a lantern parade to celebrate the winter solstice, star gazing and the inspiring Junk to Funk competition - among others. The festival is a great reason to get out, see the fresh snow on the hills and have some winter fun. 

The Kumara Races each January is a fantastic family day out and draws a huge crowd to soak up the entertainment and carnival atmosphere. There is something for everyone – betting booths, fantastic races, best dressed competitions, live music, candyfloss and even clowns. 

Westland Anniversary Day

Westland Anniversary Day is always the Monday closest to the 1st of December (not the first Monday in December as if often displayed on calendars).