Compare Hokitika Car Rental Deals
Big savings on car hire at Hokitika Airport
Compare the best Hamilton Airport car rental deals from Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty & Ezi Car Rental.
We booked ahead from Germany. Prices very reasonable, and a good choice of cars. Saved us time and money — would use again.
Great value! I'll be telling my friends.
Glad I found your site – we left things to the last minute and couldn’t get a car at a price that made sense. Problem solved!
Car Hire Options at Hokitika Airport
There's a small number of car hire companies operating at Hokitika Airport. You'll find them all here and can easily compare their best deals in one place. This means you don't have waste time trawling the Internet looking for options. Or have to pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the airport rental counter.
To maximise your savings it's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods. Just put your travel details into the Search box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices.
On-Airport Rental Brands
At Hokitika Airport all the car rental companies have check-in counters. So, unlike other airports, there are no "off-airport" rental companies which require you taking shuttle transfers to their depots.
Not that this would be an issue, given how small Hokitika is and that the airport is a 3-minute drive into town!
Use our price comparison search tool to find the best prices for these on-airport car rental brands at Hokitika Airport:
Maximum Choice. Best Deals.
Quick and easy
Very easy to use. Really good specials for a run around car. Would recommend.
Hokitika Airport Car Hire Tips
Why renting a car makes sense
Hokitika is a sleepy small town in the middle of the South Island’s wild West Coast and a popular tourist spot. Despite being much smaller than Greymouth, this is where you'll be arriving if you fly to the West Coast on Air New Zealand.
Hokitika is a great place to start exploring the West Coast, but you really need a rental car to get out and explore the many attractions here. Having a rental car gives you the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace and roam further afield as you explore this stunning part of New Zealand.
The isolation of the West Coast means there's a limited number of rental cars available and these can sell out quickly during peak periods. So if you plan to pick up a rental car in Hokitika, we recommend booking as early as you can.
Driving from the airport
Hokitika and its airport are so small that driving directions really aren't necessary. Once you've collected your rental car, it's a 3-minute drive into downtown Hokitika.
There's lots to check out in this historic goldrush town before you leave. Some ideas are listed at the bottom of the page.
When you are ready to move on, it's a 30-minute drive up the coast to Greymouth. Or by heading south, you'll be at Franz Joseph Glacier in under 2 hours. Be aware that, like much of New Zealand, the roads can be narrow and windy. So take it easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Return with a full tank
Stop at a nearby petrol station and top up the tank before returning your vehicle. The extra 5 or 10 minutes this takes will definitely save you money.
If you return the car with the tank not full then the rental company will charge a high price to top up the tank. These charges can be excessive, such as a $2.50 a litre surcharge on top of the fuel cost. Not a nice surprise to later find this charge on your credit card.
Topping up your rental car's tank before you drop it off back at the airport is not a problem. Being so close to town means there are petrol stations nearby.
Better prices and variety than going direct
I tried Mates Rates after hearing some positive things. Was not disappointed! You can spend a lot of time searching for a rental car, but found the best deal there
Great value! I'll be telling my friends.
Attractions around hokitika
A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Hokitika and the surrounding region. Here are a few of the many attractions you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the West Coast Tourism website....
The West Coast Treetop Walk is an enchanting visitor attraction, and just 15 minutes drive south of Hokitika.
Here lies a grand grove of ancient kamahi and rimu trees, and a chance to walk among these giants on a platform elevated 20 metres above the forest floor. Built on conservation land in the Lake Mahinapua Scenic Reserve, you’ll find the biggest and tallest treetop walkway in New Zealand.
The journey begins a short walk from the entrance and cafe. A shuttle is available to cover this distance for those with limited mobility; motorised wheelchairs can access the whole treetop walkway, as can prams.
The walkway is safe and fully-enclosed and engineered for stability. There is some movement that you will feel, however; a gentle swaying of the boards below you. Informative plaques are located at key points along the way to educate visitors about what they’re seeing around them.
The highest point is atop Hokitika Tower, ascending to 40 metres above ground. A panoramic view to Lake Mahinapua, the snowy Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea is your reward for climbing the 100-plus steps around the narrow spiral staircase.
The foliage is diverse, including matai, totara and kahikatea. The trees provide food and shelter for birds such as the bellbird and tui. And the white heron (or kotuku) can often be found at the stream beside the cafe, nibbling on whitebait.
The whole experience lasts for up to an hour, as you walk for half a kilometre through the canopy of temperate rainforest, among the treetops. In extreme weather, such as high winds or storms, the walkway may close.
The vivid turquoise waters of the Hokitika River are unmistakable, and they really do look as vibrant as that in real life! You can’t miss seeing them for yourself at the Hokitika Gorge while on the west coast.
A walking track leads through hardwood forest from the car park, coming out onto a viewing platform (all wheelchair-friendly). You will be able to look down on the Hokitika Gorge and further out to rich green farmland.
Continue along from the platform via the boardwalks until you reach the famous Hokitika Gorge swing bridge. The views of the water in ever-shifting shades of blue and green are second to none. The ravine is steep with massive rocks making up the granite sides of the gorge.
Crossing the swing bridge you can then follow the track as it continues through the bush, arriving at a different viewing platform looking upstream.
Further along the gorge, you can go white water rafting. There are no tracks up this far; this section can only be accessed by air. After helicoptering in, the expedition begins in earnest with launching the rafts. Rafting on these crystal clear waters makes for an unforgettable adventure.
Located southwest and inland from Hokitika township, the journey will take about half an hour in your rental car. The route is well signposted along the way. For a scenic loop drive back via Lake Kaniere, which is north of the gorge. Alternatively, another option is to head towards Lake Mahinapua on the way back, taking the Woodstock-Rimu road.
Housed in the historic Carnegie Building on the corner of Hamilton and Tancred Streets, it’s hard to miss the big red brick Hokitika Museum. This regional history hub tells the story of the wild West Coast, one of the most rugged and isolated regions of New Zealand. The museum’s down-to-earth displays and friendly staff reflect the spirit of the West Coast, which lives on today.
Start with the excellent audio-visual experience, which offers an introduction to the area’s history. Delve into exhibitions devoted to the history of development and transport in Westland, and the rotating art and specialist exhibitions in the gallery.
It’s a tribute to the adventurous and persistent pioneers (among whom were a number of convicts) who settled here and made the area their home. It was hard graft, battling the elements, eking out a living and retreating to one of the many pubs at night.
You will also find the biggest Meccano dredge in the world at Hokitika Museum, a scale model of the dredge that once operated in the Grey River. Just pop in a dollar and watch how it used to work.
The gold rush was a defining characteristic of Hokitika and the West coast, but so too is greenstone, another precious treasure of the area, as highlighted in the pounamu room. There is a unique whitebait exhibition (whitebait is a local delicacy) plus a quiz to keep the children occupied for a while.
Hokitika Museum is open 7 days a week — plan to set aside time to visit and browse through while you’re in town.
National Kiwi Centre
The West Coast is one of the wettest parts of the country, but the National Kiwi Centre makes for the perfect outing on a rainy day. Located in the heart of Hokitika, it isn’t far at all from rental depots.
In this undercover facility, the kiwis are nurtured in a safe and familiar environment. The flightless birds can be seen in the dim lighting as they scurry around — the nocturnal house is specially designed to mimic their natural habitat.
Westland is home to the most critically endangered kiwi in New Zealand. The grey Rowi is in the Okarito forest while the brown/grey Tokoeka with a red tinge is found near Haast, but only a few hundred each remain. Predators such as dogs, cats and rats have decimated their populations, but the primary threat is the stoat, which eats kiwi eggs and kills kiwi chicks.
Today, a conservation project called Operation Nest Egg monitors kiwi sanctuaries in Okarito and Haast, with eggs then taken to Willowbank sanctuary in Christchurch for hatching. The chicks are subsequently sent to pest-free islands in the Marlborough Sounds and Otago.
Despite its name, the Kiwi Centre also houses many other types of wildlife, both native and non-local. For starters, there are the giant eels that you can feed at 10am, noon and 3pm daily. They are up to 100 years old and weigh as much as 20 kg. There’s the giant weta, and the tuatara (aka the living dinosaur). One male and one female live here, soaking up the sun in summer and hibernating in winter. An array of fish, frogs and turtles can also be seen in the tank.
In the freshwater aquarium you’ll find crayfish, shrimps, whitebait, and both long- and short-finned eels. Plus, the indoor fishing lake (catch and release only) is another highlight.