Sit Back And RelaxSit back and relax as owner & guide Swade transports you from land to lagoon and beyond into the rainforest waterways to see the birds, plants, trees and landscape that combine to make the Okarito– one of the West Coast’s most accessible, yet incredibly pristine and tranquil areas– so “magic”. The open-air boat moves slowly, allowing a total sensory experience with 360-degree views amongst feeding birds including the graceful Kotuku– Great White heron, Royal Spoonbills, the intrepid godwits from Siberia and Alaska, the leggy Pied Stilts, and many others. Custom built for the Okarito area, the boat will take you into the shallow environs of both lagoon and forest and provides some fabulous photo opportunities of both wildlife and landscapes. The towering Southern Alps, Mount Cook and Mount Tasman and Franz Josef Glacier make for a spectacular backdrop to the coastal and rainforest environment on clear days and a stunning contrast to the wetlands and wading birds feeding on the Okarito Lagoon.
Having lived on the West Coast for 40+ years, Swade helps you to locate and identify the wading birds, native forest birds, and the ancient plants of the rainforest as you explore the untouched serenity of New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland, over 3000 hectares and part of the South Westland World Heritage area. The “Early Bird Tour” and 2 Hour Nature Tours are recommended for those interested in seeing the best of the amazing, natural environment of Okarito while the afternoon “Sightseeing Tour” provides a great introduction to why this area is so special. The Okarito Overnighter is perfect if you are looking for a peaceful night stay in a comfortable cottage by the sea – accommodation packages are also available.