Okarito is a small, peaceful village on the west coast of the South Island, about 25 minutes drive north of Franz Josef Glacier and 13km off the main highway. During the summer the Kotuku (or White Heron) congregate in the upper reaches of the Okarito Lagoon for their feeding and breeding season. Sometimes individual birds can be seen feeding on the mud flats near the mouth of the lagoon at Okarito, but not when we were there in early February. A small kayaking business is based near the wharf. Locals gather small shellfish on the mud flats.