Hokitika's famous driftwood sign cared for by its owner

What began as an entry in a driftwood competition has now become one of the most photographed and recognisable images on the West Coast.

Don Neale created the Hokitika sign and still keeps a close eye on one of the coast's most famous photo spots.

The handmade gem is comprised of driftwood gathered up on the beach and tied together with flax.

It became a permanent fixture after it was entered in the town's Driftwood and Sand Competition three years ago.

It's just 100m from the main street and one of the most photographed places in the coastal township.

"If I got a dollar for every photo that was taken, I'd be a millionaire," says Mr Neale.

"I'm not going to make money out of it so I just see it as my gift to the town a little bit. I'm kind of pleased it's taken off the way it has.

"It's nuts how many people come along and take photos of it, especially at sunset."

It's a distinctive sign Mr Neale says is different each time it's photographed.

It's unique in more ways than one, cared for by its creator, and still capturing the attention of tourists from around the world who visit the now famous seaside town on the coast.


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