In the last decade or so, Hokitika has become synonymous with the annual Wildfoods Festival (second Sat in March; wwildfoods.co.nz), when the population quadruples to celebrate bush tucker. Around fifty stalls in Cass Square sell delicacies such as marinated goat kebabs, smoked eel wontons, huhu grubs, “mountain oysters” (a.k.a. sheep’s testicles) and, of course, whitebait, washed down with home-brewed beer and South Island wine. The feasting is followed by an evening hoedown, the Wildfoods Barn Dance and bonfires on the beach.

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