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Address: 1 The Strand, Okarito 7856, New Zealand (Formerly Okarito Nature Tours)
Phone Number:
0800 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
Lovely place, lovely people

This is an amazing spot and we had a great time kayaking the lagoon. The staff were very friendly and helpful, even though we were running a bit late. Awesome!

Reviewed 13 January 2016
Jake T
Queenstown, New Zealand
via mobile
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93 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 90: English reviews
Queenstown, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2016 via mobile

This is an amazing spot and we had a great time kayaking the lagoon. The staff were very friendly and helpful, even though we were running a bit late. Awesome!

Thank Jake T
BazHughes, Kayaking barista at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Thanks Jake, stoked you enjoyed the place!! Hey, we have our own days we run late too ... (-: More 

Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2016 via mobile

Spent a wonderful few hours paddling on the lagoon and its tributaries. Birds were abundant and the views of Mt. Tasman and Mt. Cook were spectacular. We were given instruction in where to go and then left on our own to explore, for as long as we wanted. I highly recommend this as a peaceful way to spend a day.... More 

Thank Jaime Z
BazHughes, Bit of everything here at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Jaime, thanks so much for your review - we've had great holiday season weather, really pleased you guys got such a spectacular day out there and enjoyed the peace and quiet on the lagoon. Thanks for coming to visit us, enjoy the rest of your travels. Cheers, Baz. More 

Saint Sauveur des Monts, Canada
Level Contributor
67 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2016 via mobile

Spent several hours kayaking under a gorgeous blue sky to start 2016. Enjoyed the staff and coffee as well as the snow covered peaks and herons. Thanks!

Thank jtmh89
BazHughes, Sometimes barista, sometimes paddler. at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

You're very welcome; thanks for reviewing us, and for your comments on our team and caffeine! Hope the rest of your year is as good! Thanks - Baz More 

Majuro, Marshall Islands
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2016

We were supposed to do hikes on that day but the weather wasn't that good. So we opted to do kayaking instead and we found Okarito Nature Tours and did not regret it. Mel and the other lady (so sorry I forgot her name) we're really welcoming and nice. We were briefed about the kayak routes, kinds of birds we... More 

Thank missseunice
BazHughes, Kayaking helpers at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Cheers guys - glad you enjoyed your kayak, and the birds, and the peace and quiet in the river channels. Enjoy the rest of your trip around the South, thanks for coming to see us! More 

Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2016

Two days ago we had the most awesome experience with Okarito nature tours in every sense. I cannot speak highly enough about Gemma who looked after us all so well, we hired two double kayaks for myself, my husband and two children aged 9 and 12 and we all loved it. The safety briefing, information about the route and birds... More 

Thank Karenza H
BazHughes, Kayaker, barista and host at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Thanks Karenza, I am glad you guys had such a great time out there. We look forward to having you guys back up for an overnight trip in the future. Cheers Gemma More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
156 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2016

This is our second time hiring a kayak from Okarito Nature Tours and spending a couple of magical hours on the lagoon in the company of white herons, oyster catchers and many other species of birds. First time it was raining heavily and it was kind of a surreal (but still unbelievably beautiful) experience. This time the sun was out... More 

Thank Hila5
BazHughes, Kayakers, baristas, bakers and hosts! at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Thank you very much for taking the time to review us! Mel is stoked with your comments, really nice for her to hear you enjoyed the place so much, and it makes us feel great that you've enjoyed Okarito enough to return again. You're welcome anytime of course (-: More 

Queenstown, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2015 via mobile

Remote, peaceful & some of the best photo opportunities on the west coast. The bird life was amazing - the rare Great White Heron! and we were fortunate to experience a very personalized tour. Thanks!

Thank RichieJ82
Fair Oaks, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2015

My husband and I decided on a whim to veer off the main road on our way from Queenstown to Franz Josef Village, and check out Okarito. The drive was pleasant, and when we reached Okarito, a sign offering coffee beckoned us into the Okarito Nature Tours hut. There we found Gemma who made the best flat whites we tasted... More 

2 Thank lcjjmama
BazHughes, Owner at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Thank you very much for your review of us - really makes us feel good about what we can offer visitors, and Gemma is stoked to see your comments, so thanks for taking the time!! Best decisions are made on a whim we reckon (-: More 

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
324 reviews
112 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 387 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2015

Spent a morning paddling the Okarito Lagoon on a half day self-guided tour ($60 NZD/person). It's a shallow area in which almost everyone got caught in mud or on stones. (Get out and push the kayak.) The scenery is mostly marshland with areas of rainforest. We saw several fake herons (statues) and a couple real ones. The company provides life... More 

1 Thank krawner
BazHughes, Owner at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Ah, you must have got low tide in the lagoon!!! Higher tides or recent rainfall means the water level is higher and easy gliding kayaking; you must have got the adventure trip then! Good on you for enjoying it and getting out in the rain too - thanks for visiting and taking the time to review us! Baz More 

Holywell, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
348 reviews
242 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2015

Although Okarito is away off the main highway 6 north of Franz Joseph it is well worth making the 14 kilometre detour along Forks-Okarito Road to this charming little village. at the far end of the village is a small car park and foot path leading down to a beautiful sandy beach. At the near end of the village you... More 

2 Thank Ron P
BazHughes, Owner at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review

Thank you Ron; good detailed review of some of things you can do in Okarito - a little off the beaten track but thats part of the charm. Beautiful beach walks here too, and hikes up into the National Park forest overlooking the village - great views of the Southern Alps on a clear day; pounding dramatic seas on not... More 

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San Francisco, California
3 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?