Okarito Early Bird Tour & Updates

 In Birdlife, Nature

We are enjoying the most amazing summer weather – and to help people take advantage of the beautiful early morning conditions on the Okarito Lagoon we are adding a new trip to our tour itinerary

Sunrise over the Okarito Lagoon

Our new Early Bird Tour departs the Okarito Wharf at 7:30 am and returns at 8:45 am.  (bookings essential please!) Cost is $60/adult and $35 for youths (8-16)   (All Okarito Boat Tours are free for children under 8 when accompanied by an adult.)

We have always advocated the morning trips as being the best at Okarito  –  Conditions are typically brilliant for interested photographers and nature lovers who are keen to get up a little earlier to experience this beautiful time of day.

Spoonbills feeding on the tidal flats of Okarito Lagoon

The 9:00 AM departure is a more casual start, but superb morning conditions and usually plenty of birds to see feeding on the tidal flats. The plunger coffee and Swade’s home baked cookies are always a surprise and what a treat up in the rainforest!

The 11:30 trip is also a great option, especially if you are arriving from further afield (25 minutes from Franz Josef and 1-1.15 hours from Fox Glacier or 1.5 hours from Hokitika)  One hour afternoon trips are at 2:30 and 4 PM.


We have NO minimum numbers for our 2 hour tours and just 2 people minimum for our 1 hour tours. Check in is at Okarito Nature Tours – watch for our sign at the entranceway – just a few minutes before departure.  We meet you there and it’s just a 2 minute walk to the wharf.  (Note: the Early Bird Tour only meets right at the Wharf – plenty of parking there now with the improvements made this season)

White Heron in Okarito Village

Bird update!  We are just coming into the best time of year to view birds on the Okarito Lagoon!

The white herons have had a remarkable breeding season and the young will now be leaving the nests and arriving on the Lagoon to feed alongside the adults and the Royal Spoonbills.  We have a good number of Bar Tailed Godwits (they come here from Alaska & Siberia!), Pied Stilts and even the occasional shy Bittern.  We can typically see about 20-25 different species of birds on a two hour tour.



The views!of the mountains have been spectacular – we’ve probably had more Mount Cook and Tasman views from the water this year than usual – again the morning tours are best.

Okarito Mountain Views

Okarito Accommodation – we offer a package price for cottage rentals with a morning boat tour – please call for availability.  Prices start at $255 for 2 adults – accommodation & 2 Hour Nature Tour.

And! we have just added our Kiwi Sizzler BBQ to the boat for an added feature – available for small tour groups, families or charters with advance notice (min 24 hours) we can offer an optional BBQ lunch. Prices and times available on request.

Hope you are enjoying  a fabulous summer! see you soon in Okarito!

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