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“Well worth the time”
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 young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 3 April 2017

My wife and i did the half day paddle up the lagoon and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The owners are friendly and informative. Everything we needed for the trip was supplied, the kayak was easy to use and the half day trip was just a perfect amount of time to explore and take in the lovely sights of the lagoon and mountains. We saw lots of bird and some fishlife also. Just to finish the trip off we had a lovely coffee in the sun at the end of the trip chatting about our experience.
We throughly recommend this activity to people who want to experience some native , peaceful waterways off the beaten track.

Thank 67Kezza27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 12 of 99 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2017 via mobile

Take the time to drive to Okarito Village. Do some hiking and kayaking. We arrived a day earlier than our booking trying to re-arrange our schedule so we could accommodate our rescheduled heli hike. Baz could not have been more helpful. While we enjoyed a coffee he worked out a rebooking and accommodated us the afternoon. Becky our guide took us a nice trip across the lagoon and up the river. She did a good job adjusting to the pace of our group. As we returned, we were treated to a beautiful view of the NZ Alps. This is a very peaceful adventure. You can rent kayaks or take a guided tour.

Thank Golfchief
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2017

Different way to experience Franz Josef. Our family of four had a great time paddling and even saw the rare white heron. Staff careful to schedule you based on tide and weather conditions -- paddling in can be challenging if the wind picks up. Ample instruction and navigational guidance. Scheduled half day trip but 2 hour option would have been sufficient. Spend time exploring the rivers.

Thank 354juner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2017

As part of New Zealand Trails Heritage Hiking Tour we arrived at Okarito Kayaks for an afternoon adventure. It had been a rainy morning on the drive there and none of us were looking forward to paddling around the Okarito Lagoon. The weather turned for the better just as we arrived and all was good.

Our guide Simon had more personality than a game show host and made the whole experience delightful. Neither my wife or I are experienced kayakers so the patience of our host helped, particularly at the end when they took us into a trickier area to see a waterfall. This proved a bit uncomfortable navigating the boat.

The highlight was a family of Black Swans, goslings in tow, that were beautiful to watch, even at a distance.

With the heavy rains they had the week before, water levels were high which made the lagoon ideal for our kayaks and the sky was cloudless by this time – so nearly perfect.

Where it proved very disappointing for us was the lunch that was provided at the boat house cafe – some tragic egg thing served that was borderline polyurethane and a salad only suitable for rabbits or guinea pigs. Great hospitality and the Lattes and cookies helped take the edge off lunch bag let down, but were extra. Otherwise, almost perfect.

Thank ricriordon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2017

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.

Thank Ron T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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