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“We really enjoyed this”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Okarito Kayaks

Okarito Kayaks
Ranked #2 of 6 things to do in Okarito
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 older children, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
120 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“We really enjoyed this”
5 of 5 bubbles 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, if you are a capable kayaker this is a really nice trip.

Visited January 2017
Helpful?
Thank ChessHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OkaritoKayaks, Kayak helper at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review, 20 February 2017
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 a bit more experience too., even stretching to remote overnight trips. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your travels in the South - Baz.
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takaka
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“One of NZ's Hidden Treasures”
5 of 5 bubbles 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!!

Visited January 2017
Helpful?
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 review, 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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New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
254 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Okarito Kitchen excellent food !BUT!”
3 of 5 bubbles 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!

Visited December 2016
Helpful?
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 review, 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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Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Scenic and accommodating even with weather trouble!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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!

Visited December 2016
Helpful?
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 review, 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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Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great outfitters!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited December 2016
Helpful?
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 review, 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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