The headwaters of this valley are home to some of the hard west coast heli-kayaking runs, but the section from Rapid Creek down is much more manageable for intermediate packrafters. Easily done in a day, but there’s a great wee hut there so why not spend the night? There’s more than a few ways to arrive at Rapid Creek hut, but apart from walking up the valley, they all involve multiple days.
Thanks to Elias Love for the information and photos for this trip page.
Theres some good information on tracks, routes and huts in the DOC web page about the Hokitika Catchment.
Hokitika Gorge to Rapid Creek Hut
The Hokitika Gorge is about 30km’s of rough road (about an hour) from Hokitika. From the carpark, its about 2 to 3 hours walk into Rapid Creek Hut, including a crossing of the cable way (an experience in itself!). The hut is right by the river and has great views of the mountains.
Hokitika River (II+) Rapid Creek Hut to Hokitika Gorge
There’s always plenty of water in the river! There’s lots of fun wave trains plus a few big holes, (its easy to avoid them if you’re paying attention). The trip finishes through the Hokitika Gorge, which is very beautiful. Make sure you wave to the tourists on the swingbridge! Take out just after the gorge. About 2hrs paddling in normal flows.
Visual. You can observe most of the river as you walk in.