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Address: 1 The Strand, Okarito 7856, New Zealand (Formerly Okarito Nature Tours)
Phone Number:
+64 800 652 748
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon, New Zealand's largest unmodified coastal...

Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon, New Zealand's largest unmodified coastal wetland. Guided tours and freedom rental. Excellent birdwatching and amazing mountain views. Paddle through the Okarito River Delta that leads deep into the rainforest.Our kayaks are safe, stable sea kayaks. Prior experience is not necessary and full instruction is given.Okarito is a quaint coastal village backdropped by the Southern Alps, only 20 minutes drive from Franz Josef Glacier, and has the best coffee in town!

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 93 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 79
  • 8
    Very good
  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
We really enjoyed this

We did the three-hour (red) self-guided trail. There were nice bird views in the main lagoon and then there were beautiful and secluded views along the narrow inlets. The... read more

Reviewed 4 February 2017
Los Altos, California
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93 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 90: English reviews
Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
120 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2017

We did the three-hour (red) self-guided trail. There were nice bird views in the main lagoon and then there were beautiful and secluded views along the narrow inlets. The directions could be a bit easier to follow, so look at the map carefully before you start. Some of the channels are also pretty narrow, which require some detailed maneuvering. However,... More 

Thank ChessHiker
OkaritoKayaks, Kayak helper at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Cheers for the review ChessHiker - glad you enjoyed your kayak up the lagoon. There's a range of routes and channels in the lagoon that suit different abilities - we're lucky that much of the lagoon, in most conditions, is suitable for novices and families, but there's some neat hidden rainforest channels that are great to explore if you have... More 

Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2017 via mobile

We did the overnight kayak hire - exploring the gorgeous okarito lagoon and its channels the first day and then paddling out to our very own camping spot on the wild and stunning west coast. If you are travelling in the South Island, are the adventurous kind, and like to find the hidden treasures, then I can recommend the overnight... More 

Thank John E
OkaritoKayaks, Paddle helper at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Hey, stoked you, Mandy and Kier visited and got out adventuring! Overnighting on the lagoon is a pretty special trip; it's not one we suggest to everyone as you need to be pretty self-sufficient out there but there's few better places in the world to watch the sunset on a remote beach with the Southern Alps laid out behind you.... More 

New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
278 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2017

Okarito Kitchen cafe was lovely and quirky building with interesting toilet! Staff nice, coffee and sausage rolls really good. BUT - the sand flies inside crawling all over the windows inside and outside the building were so horrendous that I would not want to stop again! As for going canoeing forget it unless your skin is like leather!

1 Thank Shootingstars R
OkaritoKayaks, Manager at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Thanks for the positive comments on the coffee and food guys, nice to hear - but we're pretty disappointed you've commented so negatively on an activity you didn't partake in and don't seem to have a great deal of knowledge about. We're not trying to be rude, but we kayak, rather than canoe here - and yes, whilst we and... More 

Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2017

I went as part of a group and while the weather was raining, we still enjoyed a lovely 3-4 hour self guided tour. We saw the heron, tuis, and other birds in a peaceful setting. Everyone was helpful and clearly passionate about what they do. It was pouring rain when we came in and they had prepared coffee and tea... More 

Thank gtpamlin1
OkaritoKayaks, Paddle helper at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Some great West Cast weather then!!! Hey, good on you for getting out and exploring regardless of the weather - we reckon if you tog up in rainjackets then you're invincible anyway; the rainforest channels you paddle up need that rain too!! There's a beautiful calm mood sometimes to the lagoon and wetlands when the sun is hidden, and the... More 

Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2017 via mobile

We went on a morning half day paddle, self-guided though a couple other boats did go out at the same time. It was great to be able to follow our own little hearts and explore down some rivers and through some marshes, without needing to stick together as a group. Baz and Gemma and the rest of the staff were... More 

Thank julie_ar
OkaritoKayaks, Kayak guide, barista, gardener, baking taster etc at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Julie, hey, thanks for the great review of us!! Busy time of year here mid summer so we're stoked you guys got some space to yourselves out in the waterways, and that you got to see the Spoonbills out there! Glad you enjoyed your trip, nice to have you kayaking with us. Baz. More 

1 review
Reviewed 29 December 2016

The whole package of kayak hire, high quality equipment, excellent safety briefing and trip plan was just fantastic. Really impressed with the passion and commitment of Baz and Gema to quality experiecne and safety.

Thank Di D
OkaritoKayaks, Chief kayak washer (and route briefer) at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Di, thanks for the review - sorry I didn't get much time to catch up with you, Mark and the family, but Gem and I are stoked you came through for a paddle and got to see the backyard! We're pretty lucky here in South Westland with what we have. Have a great summer, see you again sometime. Baz. More 

Bratislava, Slovakia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 26 December 2016 via mobile

We took a half-day kayak and it was amazing. The weather was sunny - took a suncream! It is really recommended :) Staff was very friendly and helpful, we enjoyed this activity!

Thank Marko R
OkaritoKayaks, Kayak hire launcher at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Hi Marko - glad you enjoyed your visit, and kayak, and obviously, good weather! We're lucky out here on the edge of the coast that we get much better weather than inland. Hope you enjoy the rest of your travels through NZ; cheers for visiting our wee town! Baz More 

Florence, Oregon
Level Contributor
360 reviews
112 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 December 2016 via mobile

This small boutique Kayak shop has it all together and you can count on them to suit you up with excellent equipment and they will instruct you on how to visit several outstanding rivers where there is abundant beautiful flora and many birds. Better enjoyed if you head out in the morning before the wind comes up. Our kayak was... More 

Thank Larry F
OkaritoKayaks, Kayak launcher at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Larry, thanks for the great review. We have tried to make a real effort to keep a small friendly feel to our place, so it's great for us to hear thats how you saw our kayak shop. Looking after our kayaks and gear is a point of pride for us so we're also real happy you appreciated the effort!!! Thanks... More 

Loreto, Mexico
Level Contributor
90 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2016

A chilly day for us rugged Pacific Northwesterners, balmy by Kiwi standards. The proprietor, Baz, made sure that we were properly outfitted, properly oriented, and that our kayaking skills matched our claims before setting out. A nice paddle to a well marked river entrance and most importantly, a delicious cup of French press coffee for us Portland coffee twits upon... More 

1 Thank R B
OkaritoKayaks, Cross-Pacific Kayak Host at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Ha! Thats great!! Love the comments; you guys said you'd have interesting things to say!! Oregonians welcome anytime here (-: More 

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 December 2016 via mobile

First off, the fantastic coffee and baked goods (even the gluten free was wonderful) made a fine start to our two hour paddle in this beautiful setting touring the lagoon and paddling up a small creek to a waterfall. The staff were extremely helpful with gear, advice, and an extensive navigational briefing. Excellent navigational aids have been placed so that... More 

Thank PaddlingDebandJim
OkaritoKayaks, Home-baking quality control tester at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Hey, thanks for the review guys! Glad you enjoyed your visit (and baking) - been a beaut few last days out on the water, so pleased you got to see the lagoon at its best. Enjoy your travels! More 

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San Francisco, California
4 months ago

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