Okarito has about thirty year-around residents and is a quiet village known for its peaceful ambiance. Being off the beaten track, Okarito is an experience only for those who seek it. A very special place, with characteristics such as; its peaceful quality, the wild coastline, mountain views, lagoon, white herons and kiwi, and forest backdrops. They contrast and complement the glacial and commercial focus of township. Restaurants, grocery, fuel etc. are available 20 minutes away in the township of Franz Josef Glacier. Okarito and the West Coast as a whole offers an unparalleled convergence of natural environments combined with a casual lifestyle.
Here the dense, native bush which typifies the West Coast abuts the towering, snow-covered Southern Alps whose presence dominates everything below. The Okarito Lagoon, located on the shores of the Tasman Sea is the largest unmodified wetland in New Zealand. The entire region surrounding Okarito is permanently protected by Westland National Park and Kiwi Sanctuary.
Local activities include coastal and bush walks, kayaking, fishing, whitebaiting, kiwi tours, and boat tours on Okarito Lagoon. In Franz Josef, flights, glacier walks and hotpools.