Okarito lagoon

Laguna na kajacích a pozorování vzácných druhů.



5/18/20232 min read

The weather on the west coast is still unpredictable and three out of seven forecasts were for a wet afternoon. Before they leave us again, Ivet and Ondra wanted to take a trip to the Franz Josef Glacier and Okarito Lagoon on kayaks. But we probably won't be able to do both.

So we chose a trip to the mountains to the glacier. Unfortunately, just as little remains of Franz Josef as of Fox. But the way to the viewpoint is much longer and more difficult. One has to climb very high up the slope to even see the rest of the slide. Plus, as usual, we managed to do it perfectly before all the views were hidden behind pitch black clouds. We sat on the bench for a while, ate all the chocolate and soud lollies and hurried down to the cars and headed out of the mountains to the ocean and the Okarito Lagoon.

We managed to go kayaking two days later than we planned. At high tide we arrived at the rental, trained and set off to explore the corners of the lagoon. We had to do it before the low tide, because then there is so little water that most places are impassable and you have to push the boat, standing up to your knees in water and sand, to get out of the shallows.

We only had about four hours and wanted to cover as much as possible. So we tried to paddle as hard as we could. The route where you can go on the boat is marked with wooden poles stuck into the sandy bottom. As we found out at the very beginning when we wanted to shorten one bend, there are really a lot of shoals and you can't go back with the rudder of the sea kayak down. We recognized that there was something wrong with the markings and returned to the route and followed it through all the meanders.

In the morning we explored all the arms and inlets of the lagoon. We also saw rare Herons and a lot of other birds. Herons take good photos because they don't mind at all if a person follows them in a boat within a few meters, but cormorants, for example, stop when approaching fifty meters and I don't have a lens for that. So they are not in the photos. Four hours was just enough for us, and by the end of it my hands were quite sore from paddling.

What we didn't want was a burst of clouds, which instead of kayaking the lagoon actually caught up with us and locked us in the camp in the common room for the rest of the afternoon. But after a long time we had a proher kitchen, so at least we had a nice dinner together.

Ondra and Ivet finally decided to continue further north the next day, because they didn't have much time left to explore the beauties of Zealand, and Honza and I decided to wait for nice weather. We said goodbye again and crawled into the car under the blankets. With every rain, it gets colder here by a good 10-15 degrees, and in autumn temperatures this means values very close to zero. The next day was not going to be nice and the clouds started to break until the evening. But it was enough for a short walk along the coast to the viewpoint over the second lagoon and a pleasant forest path back to the camp.

Back to posts menu