Thousands turn out at Hokitika's Wildfoods Festival

Thousands turned out at one of the West Coast's largest annual events on Saturday.

Hokitika's Wildfoods Festival highlights all the weird - and the wonderful - the region has to offer.

This is one of the biggest days on the West Coast's calendar, bringing grubs, bugs and chuggs together.

Many of the 7000 people in attendance were dressed to the nines, not afraid to test out offerings that literally tasted nuts.

"Best testicles I've ever had," one person said.

"I don't want to think about what it is," another added.

Wildfoods coordinator Andy Thompson told Newshub it's "an iconic festival".

"It's reached that level, it's a bucketlist for a lot of people to come to," he said.

Westland District Deputy Mayor Ashley Cassin - today a member of the Pheasant Cleaner Upper Crew - said it's a big boost for local businesses.

"We've had a ripper summer here. Our businesses up and down the coast from Franz and the Glaciers have really benefitted from that, so it's great to see tourism bouncing back," he said.

With rain nowhere to be seen, the warm temperatures and clear skies weren't only a hit for the feral fashion pageant, but headline artists Jon Toogood and Ladyhawke.

"Perfect weather, people are just great," Toogood said.

"My dad's been here a couple times and he text me saying, 'Have you tried anything yet?' And I said, 'No, I'm bringing shame to the family name'," Ladyhawke joked.

And for those not so keen on the wild side of wild foods, fortunately there's plenty of other West Coast delicacies here too, like the whitebait sandwich.

"All of the community groups that are here, some of them can make $10,000 or $15,000 in one day. That's a lot of sausage sizzles," Thompson said.

Thirty-five years of the festival ticked off on the Coast - still wild at heart.