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Okarito Lagoon

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PJ
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Okarito Lagoon

Read about Okarito Lagoon and tried to look up more. Does not seem to have much information about this place. From what I gather it is near to Franz Joseph and famous for its white heron (kotuku). That's about all the info I have.

Can anyone enlighten me about this place - directions, how far is it off the main road, state of the road leading to the lagoon, best time (hour of day) to visit etc? We will be travelling from Greymouth to Fox and thought of breaking the journey and perhaps have our picnic lunch there.

Keighley, United...
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1. Re: Okarito Lagoon

I think we walked around this place. If memory serves me right, its billed as a nature reserve. Its about 11k outside Hokitika on the left. You park just off the main road on some land at the side of a bungalow. You then walk down a track for maybe half a K, till you arrive at some old ironworks from mine workings.

The 'lagoon' is just beyond this, and has a boardwalk through it . It has spectacular scenery - and yes, the white herons. Its more of an everglades type of place, with trees and vegetation coming up out of the water all around., as oposed to a vast expanse of water. Well worth a stop-off to look around.

New Zealand
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2. Re: Okarito Lagoon

Good try YorkshireMixter but not quite the place :) I'm not much help either, I've been there but it was a long time ago. You can't visit the heron breeding area unless you have a permit. There is a company that do tours to the site. The lake is not far from Fanz Josef. But you can visit the lake travelbug, did you find this site while searching?

…govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

Keighley, United...
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3. Re: Okarito Lagoon

Im always ready to bow to the superior knowledge of the zapper-meister!

I put the general area + white herons together..and came up with five!

All the same, the place ive described, - whatever its called, is still worth a stop for anyone passing.

PJ
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4. Re: Okarito Lagoon

Hmmmm... don't think we can afford the time for taking a half/full day trip to tour the area. Came across it while reading about West Coast and thought it a good idea to stop off for a while, stretch our legs and have a bite to eat. Just thought this place sounds pristine without the usual touristy crowd. Depending on the weather conditions, we might take the slight detour, drive along the road into Okarito and hope for some good views of the lagoon. Or probably a better idea to go directly to Fox and Lake Matheson.

New Zealand
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5. Re: Okarito Lagoon

travelbug, you can still visit the lake without a permit, it's just the nesting area that is off limits. I recall that we walked a short track in the area.

:) @ YM

Christchurch, New...
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6. Re: Okarito Lagoon

Okarito is about 15 minutes north of Franz. It is a reserve as there are wild Kiwi of the feathered variety there. (wild is not quite the right word as they are very shy) It is about 10 minutes each way from the main road. There are ruins from an old logging wharf and it is possible to go kayaking there on the lagoon. I think yorkshore mixter was thinking of Lake Mahanipua (not spelt correctly) near Hokitika. Anyway if you just want to stroll along the beach or or gaze across the lahoon at the Spouthern Alps this is a beautiful place to stop. An ideal spot for a pichnic (There are no shops) as there are no sandflies!

PJ
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7. Re: Okarito Lagoon

Thanks for the info. We will be at Greymouth for the night and travelling to Fox next. We plan to make a loop to Punakaiki, hopefully in time for the high tides to catch the blowholes in all its glory. Looks like we will be looking at three bodies of water on the same day - Punakaiki, Okarito Lagoon and Lake Matheson.... lots of beautiful scenery in one day =)

Okarito
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8. Re: Okarito Lagoon

I live in Okarito.

Okarito is a small village.

The White Herons come to feed on the lagoon then fly a little North to their breeding site.

We are 25 mins from Franz Josef.

While in Okarito you can cruise the lagoon on a boat tour or by kayaks.

We have the rarest kiwi 'Rowi' and you may have a chance to see these on a guided tour.

We have a website about the area. Google Okarito and you will find our community run website.

Ian

9. Re: Okarito Lagoon

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