Mokihinui translation – Mokihi: raft made of flax stalks. Nui: large
Mokihinui is a small coastal settlement on New Zealand’s West Coast in the South Island, about 40km north of Westport. It is situated between the sea and the foothills of the Glasgow Range and State Highway 67 passes through Mokihinui just before reaching its northern end on the other side of the Mokihinui river.
In the early 1890s,
a branch line railway from Westport was opened to Mokihinui; it ultimately ran through to Seddonville and was known as the Seddonville Branch. Passengers were carried on mixed trains until trains became freight-only on 14 October 1946. The line continued to operate until the end of the 1970s, when the coal mining activity that provided almost the sole freight on the line declined to such a point that revenue was lower than maintenance costs. The railway closed north of Ngakawau on 3 May 1981 and traces of its formation can be seen in the countryside around Mokihinui.
Nestled under the western shoulder of Kahurangi National Park.
The Mokihinui is the West Coast’s third largest river, draining the vast uplands and mountains of the Lyell, Radiant, Glasgow, Allen and Matiri Ranges, falling steeply through granite and limestone gorges, emerging to meander across open flats, before gathering all it’s waters together and making a determined charge for the coast through a steep earthquake-shattered gorge. Released from the gorge, it flows briefly through alluvial flats and a small series of limestone outcrops near the small settlements of Seddonville and Mokihinui; before finally flowing into the Tasman Sea.