Three Mile Lagoon

Three Mile Lagoon



14 Rankers Reviews

10 Face-to-Face

5 Okarito

Online Maps

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View from the Bluffs
White Heron - Kotutu breeding grounds


Time: 3 hr return

The Three Mile Lagoon walk is at Okarito, about 25 minutes north of Franz Josef township. The lagoon is a feeding ground for the White Heron (kotuku) - this area is the only breeding ground for the birds in NZ.

There are two tracks for the Three Mile Lagoon walk. A high tide track: a good climb and affording an impressive view from atop the bluffs. A low tide track: slightly shorter, but can only be passed 2 hours either side of low tide.

Enjoy the wild charm of the West Coast!


Feature Value Info


DOC West Coast

Central government organisation


South IslandWest CoastOkarito


  • Walking
  • Free


Flatlanders's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

A gem off the beaten path with hardly any tourists. There are 4 walks from the carpark (and icecream): The (20min) Wetland Walk, The (30min) Rig Walk and the loopwalk: The Three Mile Lagoon (3hr...or 4 when you bring your camera). Make sure you take the Packtrack first and the coastal track back (beach) at low tide. There's a tidescedule at the start, but better yet, look it up beforehand. It's a breather after trying one of the touristy glaciers. Please try and experience the real NZ like one these places and not just
There are kiwi a.o. around, so please drive slow (after dusk)!

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Isaliner and Mathieu's avatar

Isaliner and Mathieu

Ranking: 10/10

When the weather is sunny, the view from the lagoon to Mount cook is probably the most beautiful on the West Coast.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Prisuille's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Walk to the Alps, panoramic view.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Anita's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

If you want to start this walk over the beach because it is close to low tide, continue walking down the road and turn left at the beach.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Luis .'s avatar

Luis .


Ranking: 6/10

Long, steep (up and down), and overall not worthy track. The lagoon was cool with great views. We could not take the coastal track even at low tide.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Sanne Sprogoe Borgaa's avatar

Sanne Sprogoe Borgaa


Ranking: 10/10

Just a lucky punch to see 2 white herons from the shore up very close. I will never forget it.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Jos Schieveen's avatar

Jos Schieveen


Ranking: 8/10

Nice view of the glacier, the beach and the sea - lots of birds.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in March 2012

Rachel_Flowers's avatar


United States

Ranking: 10/10

A brilliant walk without any tourists at all on it. After the crowd scene at the glaciers, a great beach/bush walk without a soul around was really 100% pure NZ!!

Reviewed over 10 years ago

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E.M. Prideaux's avatar

E.M. Prideaux

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Bird watching. In particular a visit to Okarito lagoon & seeing a white heron which is quite rare.

Reviewed about 12 years ago and experienced in January 2010

Amanda  Iavarone's avatar

Amanda Iavarone

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

steep climb mtn great views @ top.

Reviewed over 12 years ago

Loleit's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

One way through native forest, back on the beach.

Reviewed over 12 years ago

Vivien  Williams's avatar

Vivien Williams

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

We thoroughly enjoyed this walk along the beach then back along the pack horse track. Excellent.

Reviewed over 12 years ago and experienced in March 2009

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner