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“should have been idyllic, but ...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Okarito Kayaks

Okarito Kayaks
Ranked #2 of 5 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: Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“should have been idyllic, but ...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

we were part of a 12 person group on a lovely day weather-wise (apparently rare this summer!). The Southern Alps looked beautiful and the lagoon itself peaceful and calm. As first time kayakers, however, the set up and briefing was rushed and we were uncomfortable throughout the trip (and backache lasted the rest of the day ..) due to improperly adjusted footboards. No birdlife seen either. Expected a great day, so a disappointment.

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
Thank gm175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OkaritoKayaks, Baz, your kayak setter-upper that day at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Hey, we're very sorry you felt rushed and improperly set up. To adjust your footrests is just a ten second exercise, and I set these up, with you there in the kayak at the time, in a position we find works best for kayakers to support their back. I talked to you about this position as we did this - if I had known you weren't comfortable with the position I could have changed these very easily for you. I did though take 50 minutes, from when you arrived to launching you on the water, to go through a very thorough safety and navigational briefing, gear set up, paddle technique and kayak fitting, so am a bit puzzled by your comment on a rushed set up and briefing. Again, if I had known you felt rushed, I maybe could have helped you further. I did take questions and asked if everyone understood several times through that briefing. Even as I drove your group back to town and asked about your day, there was no indication you had not enjoyed your trip out on the lagoon. If I've let you down here, I am sorry - we can help if you let us know at the time, but not afterwards I guess. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip around the South anyway. Baz.
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English first
Hertford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
152 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Excellent all respects”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2017

This is an extremely well run small operation. Baz gave us a friendly greeting when we were making our initial enquiries about what was on offer. We opted for the 2 hr self guided trip in double kayaks and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. The pre-trip briefing was excellent in terms of safety and the route and also in terms of what bird life we might see. We much appreciated the friendly approach of all the team we met. Thoroughly recommended.

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
Thank robinhbishop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OkaritoKayaks, General everything person at Okarito Kayaks, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Thanks Robin!!! Really appreciate the review, and I enjoyed getting you guys out there - glad you had fun; good on you for getting out paddling! Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Baz
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Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
104 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 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, 4 weeks ago
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
253 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 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, 4 weeks ago
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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