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.

Two tours daily and options for private charters:

The Okarito EcoTour: The most popular tour is the all encompassing 2 hour EcoTour. Watch for a variety of wading birds, learn about the wetlands and pause for mountain and reflection photos on clear days. Drift slowly up the rainforest waterways, pausing for a hot drink and snack along the way.

Early Morning Private Charters: Whether for just yourself, a family, fellow photographers or small group, a private charter enables us to focus completely on your interests.  From landscape or wildlife photography, or just simply having the place to yourselves for a very unique and special time on the water in the early morning light.  Ideal for photography groups - flexible departure times.  Must be booked in advance.

Private Charters & Photography Workshops: Available for individuals and small groups. They work with local photographers but you are welcome to bring your own group.
*Glacier Shuttles available for charters 0800 999 739
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Address: 31 Wharf Street, Okarito Get Directions