Water this turqouise doesn't come easily. Half a million years of glacial movement sculpted Hokitika's ravine; the rock 'flour' ground over millennia intensifies the water's hue. The gorge is a scenic 32km drive south of Hokitika, well signposted from Stafford St (past the dairy factory). From the car park it's a 150m walk to a viewing platform, then a further 300m to a swing bridge and 200m to a point where you can access the river.
En route, you will pass a poignant monument in Kōwhitirangi, the site of one of NZ's deadliest mass murders (immortalised in the 1982 classic film Bad Blood). Visitors can peer towards the farmstead site through a shaft bored through the stone.