Local woman, Claire Bryant, instigated the very first celebration of local wild food. Her wine cellar was very well stocked with a home brew of West Coast gorse flower wine and people were clamouring for a taste of her rose petal brew. So ….. why not a festival celebrating the tastes of the wild West Coast!
The event also coincided with the 125th anniversary of the birth of Hokitika in March 1990.
And so it eventuated ….. locals and the rest of New Zealand were captured by the magic of the idea - a celebration of Hokitika and the wild foods of the West Coast.
The Wildfoods Festival has become an iconic and premier special event in New Zealand.
The first Festival attracted a crowd of 1,800 and this year’s Festival saw 15,000 people
walk through the gate! Attendance peaked in 2003 with 22,500 Festival goers and
numbers are now capped at 15,000.
|Roving entertainment, mingling amongst the crowd, and continuous stage performances enliven the Festival arena with bands, solo artists, mime, comedy, dancers and much, MUCH more to keep you rocking throughout the day and night.|
The Festival offers local community groups, individuals and businesses the opportunity to raise funds and profile their products which is an important part of the event.
In 1996, the Wildfoods Festival was awarded the Most Unique Event in New Zealand and has twice been a winner in the New Zealand Tourism Awards.
A competition is held annually to find original artwork for posters and flyers which are distributed nationally and internationally to raise the profile of Hokitika and the Wildfoods Festival.
From the mountains to the sea, a narrow strip of scenic wonders is located on the West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand.
Glaciers, national parks/world heritage area, lakes, rivers, rainforest, wildlife, fauna and people, (“Coasters” as they are called) all interwoven in the untamed wilderness of Westland.
Much of New Zealand’s pioneering spirit is still close to the fore in Westland, making it, in some instances, an untouched region of natural beauty and experiences.
Hokitika has a colourful history - settled in the 1860’s after the discovery of gold, it soon developed into one of the busiest ports in New Zealand. Today it is a town with wide, attractive streets, friendly people and a population of 3,300. Tourism, farming, fishing and forestry provide for the economy.
At the close of the Festival weekend, when all good things come to an end, there’s still the BEAUTIFUL sunset …..
And so to YOU ….. we dare you to grab your friends, family and, most importantly, your
appetite for fun and join us at the next Wildfoods Festival!
Copyright © Westland District Council 2013