Beaches, lakes & coastline
Okarito lagoon and beach
Okarito Lagoon is New Zealand's largest unmodified wetland. A coastal lagoon, it is 130 kms south of Hokitika, covering an area of about 12km.
Turn onto Forks/Okarito Road where signposted off State Highway 6 and it is a 10km drive to the coast.
The lagoon is home of many species of wading birds, including the extremely rare Kotuku (Eastern Great Egret).
Very near Okarito is Kotuku's only New Zealand breeding area.
At the southern end of the lagoon is the small beach settlement of Okarito.
Bird watching, eco-tours and kayak tours of the lagoon are available, and there are a number of local hikes.
The rarest species of kiwi, the Okarito Kiwi - or Rowi - is also found near the town of Okarito in a DOC managed kiwi sanctuary.