Okarito Lagoon Kayaking Trail on the West Coast

New Zealand is already a natural paradise, but if you’re looking to truly escape civilisation and immerse yourself in nature, then there’s no better way to do it than kayaking in Okarito Lagoon! Take guided kayak tours, or go at your own pace with freedom kayak rentals.

Where can I go kayaking on the west coast on South Island?

Okarito is the answer for your kayaking needs in the west coast - with nothing but the sounds of nature around you, peacefully cruising the waters of Okarito Lagoon is a fantastic activity for your stack on any trip to the South Island.

Okarito is a small, quaint village on the west coast of the South Island, a short drive from Franz Josef. With only a tiny population, 50 houses and no shops, banks or postal services, you’ll get the tranquil sounds and sights of one of New Zealand’s most beautiful areas almost entirely to yourself.

Paddle through pristine, lush-green rainforests as you get unmatched views of the snow-capped Southern Alps with plenty of time to take in the scenery. Guided tours are specifically tailored to you, at your time and convenience – your guide will show you the best spots to explore and share with you extensive knowledge of the ecology and wildlife of the area. You can also paddle deep into the Okarito river delta, only accessible by kayak!

Okarito Lagoon has remained largely untouched by human hands and is therefore home to over 70 species of native birds, unique to New Zealand – as you peacefully explore the wetlands, keep and eye (and ear!) out for the abundant wildlife and birdlife. The Lagoon is also shallow and sheltered, making suitable for all ages and experience levels and a great family trip out.

  • Freedom Kayak Rentals:
    Two hours NZ$60pp
    Four hours NZ$70pp
    Full day NZ$80pp.
  • Guided Kayak Tours:
    Two hour NZ$110pp
    Three hour guided kayak NZ$130pp
    Two hour private guided kayak NZ$180pp
    Three hour private guided kayak NZ$210pp.
  • You’ll find Okarito kayaks about 13km off the main highway, 25 minutes drive north of Franz Josef. Look for the turn off between Lakes Mapourika and Wahapo and the two red sheds as you enter the village.



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