kayaks@okarito.co.nz +64 3 753 4014


Protecting what matters most

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do

Like most businesses, we’re answerable to our shareholders. But for us, they’re our kids. Return on investment for them isn’t measured in dollars …


Winners of the 2024 NZ Biosecurity Community Challenge Award for our environmental work, and the West Coast Business Sustainability Award in 2022, leaving our incredible backyard better than we found it is a core value, not an optional extra. Come and see why we think it’s so special.

Sustainability Award Okarito Kayaks

Come see for yourself

Sustainability, or regenerative tourism, are fashionable and over-used terms, but the proposition should be simple – leave a place better than you found it. Our impact here at Okarito Kayaks should be positive to our natural environment and social surrounds. So, not just giving people the chance to experience and learn about the fantastic wetlands and forests at our doorstep, but actually doing real work to tangibly improve them.

This we do through significant ongoing volunteer conservation projects like GorseBusters, that we founded and run, that have real results. In addition, our participation on local Boards and community organisations helps advocate for a positive future for our region; the other side of the coin is just getting on with picking up a shovel to fill in the pot holes when needed on local roads.

Then, there’s things that we deliberately don’t do – the everyday actions designed into the heart of our business, in minimising, not just offsetting, waste and carbon; or deliberately limiting our operating hours to keep our our small town peaceful and noise-free in the evenings.

So … if you get to us here in a couple of years, and there’s a big Golden M on the front lawn, take us out the back to the swamp and … well, y’know. But if you like what we do, and want to know more – come and join us for a guided kayak trip and we can show you why this place is special, or even better, come join us in looking after it …

Book now

Relevant news

If you're keen on joining us for GorseBusters, our next annual volunteer week takes place 31st March to 5th April 2025 - more info here: https://www.okarito.co.nz/gorsebusters/

Seven Sharp – GorseBusters

Ōkārito is a small West Coast town looking a halt a gorse invasion - but it takes an army.>
From RNZ Nine To Noon, 27 April 2022

RNZ Nine to Noon – Volunteers ghosting an invasive weed in Okarito

Gorse is on the march at Ōkārito Lagoon. It’s threatening biodiversity; choking native wetland plants, bird habitat and inhibiting whitebait breeding...
From Newsroom, 10th April 2022

Newsroom GorseBusters of Ōkārito Lagoon

The phenomenal work ethic of a volunteer army has the gorse scourge at a West Coast beauty spot in retreat
From RNZ Country Life, 8 July 2022

RNZ Country Life – GorseBusters

This April, volunteers from all over Aotearoa headed to South Westland to clear gorse from the shores of the stunning Ōkārito Lagoon.

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 homely 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