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Address: The Strand, Okarito | South Westland, Okarito 7856, New Zealand
Phone Number: +64 3-753 4223
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Join us on an interpretive tour of the peaceful, pristine environment of...

Join us on an interpretive tour of the peaceful, pristine environment of the Okarito Lagoon and rainforest waterways. From the wide variety of bird species to the ancient plants of the rainforest, this gentle boat cruise takes you on a personalized tour with a maximum of 12 passengers. From the historic Wharf and beyond where you begin to see the wading birds feeding in the shallows, to the impressive snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps, to the Okarito River itself where you may see trout or salmon rising and hear the flute like call of the bellbird - this nature tour offers up an environment rich in its biodiversity. Explore with us and experience for yourself the true nature of the Okarito Lagoon.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 19 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 15
  • 3
    Very good
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0

What a wonderful way to start the day. An early morning trip through this lagoon was informative, relaxing and has sparked a love of bird watching. We learned so much on this... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Rose G
Hamburg, Germany
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19 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Hamburg, Germany
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

What a wonderful way to start the day. An early morning trip through this lagoon was informative, relaxing and has sparked a love of bird watching. We learned so much on this short journey and it was one of the highlights of our honeymoon in New Zealand. Highly Recommended!

Thank Rose G
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
153 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

What a great time, a chance to see the wetlands and understand what they are all about and why they are so needed to keep New Zealand what it is. A great insight into the wildlife but also local history, the political & environmental problems and in the middle of it all a stop in the middle of nowhere to... More 

Thank BigDen55
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Excellent boat tour run by a Canadian-New Zealand couple, Paula and Swade, who have a flat-bottomed boat that takes up to 12 passengers suitable for going across shallow waters. The trip was 2 hours, and went first across a lagoon, and then up a river into the forest. This area is where the White Heron lives, the only place they... More 

Thank JaneChe
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
84 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2015

We purchased a package which included a cottage and the early morning 2 hour boat tour. Paula was a delight and had everything arranged for us. Our cottage was rustic but had everything we needed plus an amazing deck which overlooked the ocean. We were blessed with good weather and enjoyed dinner and breakfast on the deck. There are no... More 

Thank BPutt
Okarito, Owner at Okarito Boat Tours, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your kind words and recommendation - we enjoyed having you visit in Okarito and on the tour! While Okarito can be lovely in all it's "moods" it was great you had such a fine spell of weather to enjoy the deck, the beach and the boat! Thank you again for your feedback - it is... More 

Hillsborough, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2015

About 2 hour boat tour in small flat bottom boat of Okarito Lagoon and rain forest river. Guide thoroughly knowledgable, boat quiet, saw lots of different types of birds and flowering plants. Stopped for tea upriver in rainforest and just listened. Was great. Highly recommended. Great contrast to zoo of Franz Joseph Glacier. Low tide probably best if birds main... More 

Thank Dexmorris
Okarito, Owner at Okarito Boat Tours, responded to this review

Thank you for your feedback on the tour - Okarito is so close to Franz Josef, but yes it is quite a different little world here. And you are quite right - a middle to low tide in the mornings is our best case scenario for birds, even more ideal can be an outgoing tide, but generally the morning trips... More 

Greymouth, New Zealand
Level Contributor
212 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2015

Unplanned chance to go on this trip as we were about to leave the area. Lovely day with calm water. Owner Swade very knowledgeable about the bird life and other topics related to the area. Even provides tea or coffee and a biscuit at a spot up the river. Price reasonable for the 90 minute trip. Parking no problem. Great... More 

Thank Christine R
Okarito, Owner at Okarito Boat Tours, responded to this review

Thank you Christine for your comments - sometimes those unplanned trips are just the best! We look forward to your company again - a nice contract to a spring trip can be in the late summer - the light is lovely and there are generally good numbers of white herons and spoonbills, pied stilts and the godwits before they leave... More 

Delray Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
117 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2015

Took an early morning cruise on the lagoon to see a variety of waterfowl .... but the best part was the amazing combination of still lagoon water, lush foliage, the snow-capped mountains in the distance ..... all framed by New Zealand's intensely blue sky and stunning clouds. Swade tied up to an embankment to offer us coffee/tea and a biscuit.... More 

Thank Delray2002
Ozawkie, Kansas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2015

we had a good time on this, the tide wasn't all the way down but still saw a lot of different birds. and we had a clear day to see the mountains off in the distance really well.

Thank Phil F
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
108 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2015

Thanks to Swade & Paula for a great morning for my clients on your Okarito Bird Watching & nature tour everyone thought the trip was fantastic along with your vast knowledge on the estuary of the region & bird life ,very unique and personal experience for all. See you next time.

Thank Richard G
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015

We took a double kayak out on the lagoon. The friendly staff gave comprehensive, unbiased advice on how to paddle, where to go, what to see and were honest about the problems of the low tide and strong wind. We set off and made quite good progress for complete novices until we ran out of water. After falling into the... More 

Thank HenryClark

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?