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“Great paddling” 5 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: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
Cotopaxi, Colorado
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
“Great paddling”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We had a great safety briefing before we launched. They suggested a skirt, but I declined. Do take one as you will get wet otherwise. The sand flies are pretty vicious on shore, so have repellent. They also have a natural repellent they let you use. The paddle was in a bird preserve, and we saw may birds, but no wildlife. Make sure you follow the marks as you will high center the kayak if you don't. We paddled up a bay and then into a river, about 3 miles and the scenery was beautiful! There was coffee, tea, and a light snack afterward supplied by the outfitter. The tidal current is pretty strong coming back, so aim toward the inland side of the dock.

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
Thank Ron T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great kayaking outfit at wonderful location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were really impressed by Okarito kayaks! Baz (hopefully that's the right spelling!) was really friendly and gave us a great introduction to the lagoon and what we might see, as well as carefully going over the routes and the wind/tide conditions so we knew what to expect and how to stay safe. The equipment was all in great condition and we had an amazing time out on the water. Thanks for a great afternoon!

Visited March 2017
Helpful?
Thank NflashG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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