Okarito Lagoon covers more than 3240 hectares of shallow open water and is well
known for its outstanding avifauna (over 70 species of birds have been recorded
here). The lagoon is a common feeding ground for kotuku (white heron) and royal
spoonbill, both of which breed in the nearby Waitangiroto Nature Reserve.
The lagoon also has a diverse and fascinating flora both in the
saltmarsh and other wetland communities of the lagoon, as well as in the
adjacent shrublands, forest and sand dunes.
Exploring the open water and river channels that lead you deep into the heart of
the rainforest is like stepping back in time to pre-European conditions. A clear
day offers magnificent views of Mount Cook and the Southern Alps.