spectacular! The West Coast has experienced some of the best weather the country has seen this summer – beautiful hot sunny days and star filled nights. The local campground has been humming along with happy campers enjoying life at the beach. We’ve had visitors on the boat tours from around the world, lots of New Zealanders discovering their own country and exploring “off the beaten track”, and visitors from The Netherlands, Germany, UK, Scotland, France and Canada and the USA.
We’ve had some outstanding bird sightings on the lagoon with the white herons, royal spoonbills, godwits, south island pied oyster catchers, dotterals, pied stilts and more. It’s been a great year for the terns, both Caspian and white fronted terns. Swade caught this one on camera drifting past on a morning trip – just posing for him!
Although we have been predominantly viewing herons on the lagoon feeding, this one has found it’s favorite perch in the rainforest and we often see it here. The colour contrast is amazing with the clear blue skies, rainforest and the incredible white of the herons feathers.
And of course, the early risers are always in for a treat. We are happy to do early morning departures on request which are often for keen birders, or photographers. This one was for a photographer who really lucked out with dramatic morning colours – Swade took this from the Wharf where the tours depart at about 6:30 AM – beautiful!
Being small operators, we rarely take time away during these busier summer months, but having a boat has its advantages! The other night we headed off up the northwest side of the lagoon to the secluded North Beach of Okarito and camped out for the night. After a meal cooked over the coals of a fire (salmon, grilled vegies and couscous and corn on the cob – yum!), we watched the sky fill with stars and saw the Southern Cross and Orion.
Early morning we headed back in time for breakfast and to meet our 9 AM guests. With slightly overcast skies, Mount Cook and Tasman rose up above the clouds and it was another stunningly beautiful morning on Okarito Lagoon.