Okarito Village and History

The village is nestled between the Tasman Sea, Okarito Lagoon and the rugged lowlands of Westland Tai Poutini National Park. There is a beautiful rugged West Coast beach and renowned forest walks into the National Park, up to Okarito Trig and Three Mile Lagoon further south.

The town of Okarito began life in the gold rush years of the mid 1860’s and supported a local population of up to 4000 interesting characters; heritage sites and buildings from the period still remain, and the historc Wharf building and Donovan’s Store contain fascinating displays about Okarito’s history.

The area is a bit quieter now; Okarito’s population varies through the seasons but in winter we probably have around only 20 or so hardy souls living here; it’s a beautiful time of year with the beach deserted, often clear but cool weather, and snow covering the mountains in the distance to low levels. It’s extremely rare to get snow here in Okarito in winter – a few frosts every now and then, but the ocean on our doorstep keeps the temperature from dropping too low.