The Pakihi Walk is within the bounds of the Okarito Kiwi Zone. On a clear day you can get a panoramic view of the Southern Alps, the rainforest and the Okarito Lagoon from the viewing platform.
In the early evening, you can even hear the distinct and haunting call of world’s most endangered kiwi the Rowi or Okarito Brown kiwi.
The track is about half way between State Highway 6 and Okarito. To get there, drive fifteen minutes north of the Franz Josef Glacier Village on State Highway Six and then take the turn off to Okarito. Drive past the Forks and over the one lane Okarito River bridge then a further five minutes to the Pakihi Walk car park on your right.
Pakihi is a Maori word that is commonly used to describe poorly drained and unproductive swamp land. This well graded and solid track takes about thirty minutes return. It crosses pakihi swamp before climbing steadily.
You will pass through a classic example of podocarp hardwood trees growing on a glacial moraine before reaching the viewing platform. For more information see the Department of Conservation website www.doc.govt.nz.