kayaks@okarito.co.nz +64 3 753 4014
Sorry - we’re closed this week for a mid-winter family break; back open on 22nd July 2024


Experience NZ’s best kept secret

Experience NZ’s best kept secret

Okarito Kayaks offers expert, intimate and nature focused guided kayak trips, as well as rental of kayaks to explore independently, on Ōkārito Lagoon, New Zealand’s largest unmodified coastal wetland.

We’re a small, award-winning family-run business, that offer a genuinely quiet, peaceful and off-the-beaten track experience.

Stunning native birdlife in New Zealand’s largest Predator-Free environment, incredible mountain views and the freedom and tranquility of gentle, calm water kayaking – take a deep breath and enjoy Ōkārito.

We look forward to sharing our place with you.

Join us for guided and freedom kayaking on Ōkārito Lagoon, New Zealand's largest unmodified coastal wetland.

Guided kayak tours

Let us to show you our stunning Ōkārito Lagoon

from $130per person Book now

Freedom kayak rentals

Explore the peaceful Ōkārito waterways at your own pace

from $70per person Book now
Okarito Kayaks base

About us

Okarito Kayaks have been hosting visitors for over thirty years, and have won numerous awards for our commitment to sustainability and personal quality of service.

A small, local family owned and operated business, we look forward to welcoming you to our quiet town of Ōkārito, and sharing what we think is special about our home with you.

White heron at Ōkārito


We believe our business should contribute in a positive way both socially, and environmentally, to this special place we’re fortunate enough to live and work in.

Award winners for our work in looking after this incredible natural environment, Okarito Kayaks team are deeply involved in work to leave the rich and valuable biodiversity of the area better than we found it.

Come and join us to find out what makes this area so special, and why it’s worth looking after.

Read more
Award winning kayak business

What our happy paddlers have to say...

A great half-day of paddling, scenic grandeur and everything we wanted to know about local plants & birds

Okarito kayaks offers a beautiful kayaking experience on one of New Zealand’s biggest lagoons, with amazing southern Alps views. Owner Baz was a perfect guide in every way, from safety protocols to navigating in shallow waters and showing us the bird and plant life all around us. Okarito Kayaks also sponsors annual “get rid of invasive plants” cleanups in the area, making a pristine part of New Zealand even more pristine.

Ballet BW, New York City, USA
Awesome family business with X factor.

My teenage son and I did a self-guided overnight kayak and overnight camp with Okarito Kayaks.

Awesome family business. Baz is a great guy and Gemma made a mean cuppa on our return. Gear is well maintained and their knowledge of the environment made for an engaging trip.

We camped in sand-dunes overlooking the Tasman sea and cooked on an open drift-wood fire on the beach.

Even managed to see rare white herons and a wide range of bird life on the lagoon.

Peaceful holiday

Highly recommended!

Kiwimonks, Ballater, UK
Just the perfect kayak experience

We visited in april early in the morning for a self guided two hours kayak tour. We had no special expectations and it became a highlight of our roadtrip.
First, the team is super friendly and patient and they provide us a very detailled briefing with so many interesting explanations. The kayaks are totally suited to the activity and in perfect condition.
And then, the landscapes and scenery are just incredible, the wet areas with so many birds singing and flying all around and the mount Cook at the background. A real must to do and a good excuse to come visit the small village of Okarito. Thank you !!!

Must-do West Coast experience

Awesome experience from start to finish. In my opinion it is one of the must-do experiences on the West Coast. Stunning scenery, friendly people and a lovely surprise to have coffee waiting for us at the end.

projectK2016, Christchurch, NZ
Stunning scenery, very friendly and professional business..

We had an excellent trip with Meghan on a beautiful Autumn day. Meghans knowledge and passion for New Zealand conservation made me glad we took a guided trip. I loved seeing the different birds and forest from the viewpoint of the lagoon. The complimentary hot drink and sandfly repellant were much appreciated. Would love to come back in Winter to see what the mountains look like with more snow. Thanks!

South Island AW,
Beautiful views of mountains

Okarito weather

Out here on the Coast, Ōkārito often gets far better weather than in at the base of the mountains and on the West Coast generally. So don’t believe the TV or newspaper forecast!

We get less than half the rainfall and much more sunshine that Franz Josef town, just 25-minutes drive away, and keep a really keen expert eye on what’s forecast.

Give us a call and we’ll always give you an honest and accurate forecast for what to expect here in Ōkārito.

Contact us

Where to find us

Ōkārito is a small, peaceful village on the western sea coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

Only 10km off the main highway, Ōkārito is about 25-minutes drive north of Franz Josef Glacier. Look for the signposted turn-off between Lake Mapourika and Lake Wahapo.

You’ll find spacious, private car parking at our two red sheds on the left just as you enter the village, with a hospitable base building and bathrooms for comfort.

1, The Strand, Ōkārito, West Coast
kayaks@okarito.co.nz +64 3 753 4014 Get directions

Experience New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland

Soak up this stunning natural environment. Hire a kayak to independently explore these ancient waterways at your own pace or let one of our experienced guides take you on an intimate tour through pristine wilderness.

Options available for all ages and any fitness level.

Contact us today