Situated in the lush forests of New Zealand’s West Coast in Hokitika, you will find one of the best things to do in the South Island: the Treetop Walkway. Keep reading to learn why you need to put this on your bucket list!
This must-visit destination is for anyone looking for an awe-inspiring experience. Just 15 minutes from town, the 450 m-long walkway is built from an easily accessible steel platform that is suspended 20 m above the ground, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding forest.
Ten lightweight steel spans wind there way through ancient old growth trees, which are estimated to be between 200 and 300 years old. The walkways provide a gentle, swaying motion that creates the illusion of being in the actual treetops themselves, creating a sense of oneness with nature that is hard to find elsewhere.
In addition to its breathtaking views of the forest, the walkway also offers glimpses of the nearby Lake Mahinapua and features a cantilever that extends into the lush forest canopy.
The Hokitika Tower
While the Treetop Walkway is the largest and highest of its kind in New Zealand and is impressive enough on its own, a standout feature is a spiral staircase that brings visitors 47 m above the forest floor for a truly memorable view atop the Hokitika tower.
From this vantage point, you can admire the picturesque Lake Mahinapua and the majestic mountains of South Westland. Whether you visit in the early morning or the soft light of the afternoon, the predominantly rimu and kamahi forest, dotted with tree ferns and horopito, is sure to take your breath away.
Perhaps you will even be lucky to spot some of the rare indigenous wildlife, such as bellbirds, tui, wood pigeons or white herons ‒ the rarest and most special of all.
The walkway was designed with accessibility in mind, with a golf cart option available for those who want to have a more relaxed experience. Moreover, motorised wheelchairs able to access the entire walkway. As far as families are concerned, the walkway is enclosed on either side for added safety, allowing children to roam freely without fear of them falling (however direct supervision is still advised).
If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable adventure, make sure to put the Treetop Walkway on your list of the best things to do in South Island. Make your booking with West Coast Tree Tops today to enjoy the experience of a lifetime!