We took our time going from Picton to Hokitika – 12 hours in all. We went west to the town of Westport before heading down the coast along the Tasman Sea. We stopped at Cape Foulwind and in Punakaiki for the Pancake Rocks. Both are nice stopping places and the walks broke up the car ride.
We had originally intended to go to Kaikoura on the east coast but a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14, 2016 forced us to change our plans. Even when we were in New Zealand at the end of January the roads leading into Kaikoura from the north and south were still a problem and people were asked not to head there unless necessary.
Hokitika does not have all that much going on. One interesting aspect was the house we were renting required that we take the trash to the city dump before leaving. It is, however, a convenient jumping off point for the Franz Joseph Glacier. Although I can see how the hike to the glacier would be very pretty with all kinds of waterfalls around when we were there it was raining lightly and a little on the chilly side. We did the walk to the glacier but did not linger as we were cold and drenched.