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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...

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 15 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 12
  • 2
    Very good
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
Boat Tour of Okarito Lagoon Terrific

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Hillsborough, North Carolina
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15 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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
Greymouth, New Zealand
Level Contributor
190 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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
Delray Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
116 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
94 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 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
7 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
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014 via mobile

A Kiwi showing an overseas visitor around his island. I had done the Whatoroa Jet Boat / White Heron tour before, so I researched other options / reviews & so phoned Paula & Swade for a Boat booking & accommodation. Donovan's Store that evening for a very intimate Arts Trust "Delaney & Williams" Concert, which totally blew me away. I... More 

1 Thank nzvicster
Okarito, Owner at Okarito Boat Tours, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your review of your recent experience here in Okarito! We just love the looks of surprise we get from people who visit Okarito and all it has to offer - thank you again for staying and for truly enjoying the magic of Okarito with us! More 

Cuneo, Italy
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

I had a beautiful time in Okarito, one of my favourite spots in NZ so far. You need to go and see for yourself (but don't just "touch'n'go, spend some days there! :) ). The boat trip was so informative and peaceful. Swade is a bird encyclopedia and, even more important, he loves the place (who wouldn't) and what he's... More 

Thank Anna L
Okarito, Owner at Okarito Boat Tours, responded to this review

Thank you Anna for your lovely review! Swade loves to share everything he can on every tour he takes out - it's definitely his passion! Thank you again for sharing your experience - your enjoyment of the trip is what really makes Swade's day! More 

Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

There is little I can add to the review by archeologyman. My husband and I are of the 60's generation also. This trip and place brought back memories of backpacking Europe and living on a beach in the Florida Keys. We are not birders but Paula and Swade could not be more informative and helpful. The bird life on the... More 

Thank susan s
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
131 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We were going to Okarito because we were booked on a Kiwi watching trip (see separate report) . As our departure from the UK came closer I was getting worried because we just couldn't find any accommodation in Okarito. When we arrived there we understood why. It is about ten houses and a flock of Paradise Shelduck wandering down the... More 

Thank archaeologyman

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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?