Hokitika featured in Eleanor Catton‘s novel “The Luminaries,” a book which earned Eleanor respect as a world-class novelist. The Luminaries is based on 1860s Hokitika, a town that at the centre of West Coast‘s gold rush in 1865. Thousands of immigrants arrived in Hokitika during 1865 in search of gold. Many made their fortunes but quite a number blew their money on prodigal living. Hotels sprung up all over the place and these were a hive of activity.
Today, Hokitika’s economy is driven by dairy-farming, tourism, and craft industries. The town receives a lot of foreign traffic because Hokitika is along the well-worn tourist route that eventually leads to New Zealand‘s tourist hotspot Queenstown.
Hokitika do host events that attract people to the town. Most notably the famous wildfoods festival in March which attracts up to 20,000 people into the town. The event at one stage got