Getting into Okarito

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Okarito, New Zealand

Getting into Okarito Reviews

seahlk seahlk
20 reviews
Getting into Okarito when you are not driving Apr 19, 2011
Getting into Okarito if you are not driving can be tricky, because Okarito is located some 10km from Franz Josef and Whataroa. There is limited bus services that will bring you to Okarito Turn-off, which is sort of a mid-point between these two towns on the highway.

Always book beforehand if you want to take a bus to/ from Okarito Turn-off. From my own research, it seems like only Intercity list the location on their website. However, Atomic Shuttles also have a service running through Okarito Turn-off. iSite offers great solution if you need assistance for booking or scheduling.

The bus will stop by the cross-junction. Once you alight, you start to walk! It is about 3 km before you come to the Forks. There, it is another 10km of turning and mostly upsloping road to Okarito.

The first 3km to the Forks is mainly forested, so if you are walking under the sun, you need not worry too much about the bright sun. However, once you embark on the 10km trek, the landscape changes. Be prepared to have water and snacks along the way (no bins so keep your rubbish).

Enjoy the scenery to the maximum. Once a while, a car will pass you. Depending on your mood, you can hitch a ride in. You will also pass through the start of Pakihi Trek.

It is probably about 30% of the journey left. Pass by some creeks and then what greeted you will be Okarito Lagoon.

It is advisable to walk in the morning, but the shade will get lesser as you get closer to Okarito. Look out for vehicles on your right (I would keep to the left side of the road), and also check out any wild animals (Kiwis, anyone?!) if you are lucky to spot one.

This is the best way I know to get into Okarito by bus. Besides, if your legs are too tired to continue walking, you can always wait for a car to pass by and hitch a ride in!
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Okarito Map
photo by: seahlk