Okarito Lagoon

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    Tony Gazley
    Keymaster
    Okarito Lagoon

    Each morning watch the sun rise above the lagoon.

    Sunrise over Okarito Lagoon

    Think about all those who have passed this way before you.

    Information sign at Okarito Lagoon

    Stand on the beach with your back to the Tasman Sea and look up at the highest peaks in New Zealand, with Aoraki/ Mt Cook and Mt Tasman towering above the others.

    Aoraki Mt Cook and Mt Tasman from Okarito

    Walk along the bush track to Three Mile Lagoon when there was once a gold mining town with 20 hotels, but with little to show for it now. Then walk back along the coast passing a lovely family outing.

    On the bush track to Three Mile Lagoon
    On the coast from Three Mile Lagoon
    Mother duck and chicks

    Paddle your packraft out into the lagoon and watch the white herons (kōtuku) fishing in the shallows.

    Packrafting at Okarito Lagoon
    Packrafting Okarito Lagoon
    White Heron at Okarito Lagoon

    Paddle up the Ōkārito River with kowhai trees flowering on the banks and kahikatea forest behind.

    Packrafting Okarito River

    Climb towards Craig Peak and look down onto the lower Fox Glacier.

    Fox Glacier from near Craig Peak

    End the days sitting on the beach watching the sun set over the ocean.

    Sunset at Okarito

    Not a bad way to pass the time.


    You can see photos of other cool places to visit in the 2022 TrampingNZ Calendar. Hop down to Bivouac to get yourself a copy for $20 cash.

    Tramping NZ Calendar cover photograph
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