Okarito Kayaks are a small, family business, owned and operated by Gemma and Baz, who are in turn owned and operated by our six year old daughter Rowan and four year old son Josh.
We have a small and very talented team helping out over the summer, led by Megan, our lead guide.
Okarito Kayaks has been renting kayaks and guiding travellers on Ōkārito Lagoon for over thirty years; over that time, the business has supported three generations of owners, all local people.
There’ll likely be a fourth young family looking after the place sometime in the future; we’re just the guardians of the business, for now.
Ōkārito is a remote, quiet and unspoilt township, with about 40 permanent residents throughout the year.
Turning off the main highway down the side road leading out to the coast always felt like coming home for us – we’ve been visiting Ōkārito since about 2007, and were lucky enough to take on the kayak business from our friends Edwina and Rich in 2014.
We are fortunate to have lived and worked in over twenty countries round the world, before choosing to bring up our young family here.
We live about 3oo metres down the road from the kayak shop, and you’ll find us here at the the kayak shop, working away pretty much ever day – we’re open year round.
We spending most of our time on the water guiding kayakers to show them what’s special about this place, or brewing great espresso coffee, or cleaning kayaks, or looking after the grounds of the kayak shop – there’s always a job to do.
Come and say hi.
We’re a small business, operating in a really precious environment, both ecologically and socially.
It’s rare to have visitors to our town not comment on the natural beauty of the place and sense of peace and community of the town itself. So we feel we have a tremendous responsibility to do everything we can to support that, without changing the very thing that we and our visitors appreciate so much about our area.
We moved to this remote place basically because of a deep love of the natural environment.
So, it’s natural for us to do everything we can to look after this place, and to leave it better than we found it for our kids that we’re fortunate enough to raise here.
Genuine environmental guardianship is built into our business, from our core values.
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.