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“One of NZ's Hidden Treasures”
Review of Okarito Kayaks

Okarito Kayaks
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Okarito
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 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!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
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 kayak hire! Great equipment, and awesome to be given a map and out on an independent adventure, you really feel the remoteness of this unique location. Magic!!

Thank John E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OkaritoKayaks, Paddle helper at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this reviewResponded 29 January 2017

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. Good on you for getting out and doing it!

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17 - 21 of 99 reviews

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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OkaritoKayaks, Manager at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2017

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 pretty much everywhere else in NZ have sandflies on some still calm days, sandflies are not a problem when you are out on the water, or when we have bright sun, or wind, or rain - just maybe whilst in sheltered areas on those calm days we sometimes get. Thats why on this particular day we spoke directly to you when bringing you your coffee to offer you complimentary use of the locally made DEET -free sandfly repellent we have here for customers, but you chose not to use this and just sat there instead.
As pretty much all our reviews from people who have actually kayaked show, you don't need skin like leather - we're proud to enable young families to get out on the water and both tender-skinned kids and adults seem to manage just fine. Unfortunately your review will be pretty misleading and may just scare kayakers off. Regardless, we hope you managed to survive and enjoy the rest of your visit to NZ, even with a few sandlflies around. Cheers - Baz.

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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 for us while we tried to warm up! This is a great find in the area!

Thank gtpamlin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OkaritoKayaks, Paddle helper at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this reviewResponded 29 January 2017

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 birds provide their own entertainment. Just needs enthusiastic paddlers .... !

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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 great, providing gear, maps, and bird guides. Bird sightings included white herons and spoonbills! There was a nice breeze in our face heading back so we were happy for the delicious coffee and carrot cake after our outing.

Thank julie_ar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OkaritoKayaks, Kayak guide, barista, gardener, baking taster etc at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this reviewResponded 4 January 2017

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.

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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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OkaritoKayaks, Chief kayak washer (and route briefer) at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this reviewResponded 4 January 2017

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.

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