A short scenic drive* from Franz Josef, a tour of the Okarito lagoon and rainforest waterways transports visitors to a place untouched by the passage of time.
As the open air boat departs the historic wharf shed guests are instantly engaged in the sights and sounds of the tidal flow of the estuary, the birds wading and feeding about, from the great white heron slowly stalking its prey - guests may see the catch, hear the splash as the bird grasps a small flounder…or watch the comical royal spoonbills as they swish back and forth through the water sieving for food.
From the open expanse of the lagoon guests travel further up into the narrow rainforest waterways and seek out orchids hanging from the ancient trees, listen to the call of bell birds and tuis, drifting quietly to a place back in time, immersed in a bounty of nature.
With magnificent landscapes on clear days, guests may see the Southern Alps reflected beautifully in the still waters of the lagoon - even on a cloudy day there are forest reflections in the glassy calm waters.
A spectacular sensory experience - come step back in time and explore the untouched serenity of Okarito.
Choose from 4 daily departures:
Early Bird Tour: 7:30-9 AM $85 pp
Two hour EcoTours: 9 AM and 11:30 AM $95 pp
Okarito Wetlands Tour: 2:30-4 PM $75 pp
*Shuttles available via Glacier Shuttles & Charters phone 0800 999 739
Book online, email or by phone (payment is taken by credit card, eftpos or cash upon check in only - advance payment is not required).
Check in/booking office at 31 Wharf Street, Okarito - 15 km’s north of Franz Josef take Okarito/Forks Road turn off from State Hwy 6. The scenic drive along the Okarito Road follows the Okarito River, manuka forest and through kiwi habitat to the small sandspit settlement of Okarito - home to just 35 residents. Our office is on the left as you arrive into the village, just across from the road to our departure point at the Wharf shed. Check in is 15 minutes before departure.