Lake Mapourika

explore the LAKE 

Lake Mapourika is a scenic gem on the Wild West Coast. The lakes beauty has been celebrated since the first settlers arrived to visit the glaciers in the early 1900’s. They were taken from the village in horse drawn carriage, arriving to the lake’s landing for a scenic tour in a wooden boat. We follow their footsteps today amongst the same surreal scenery as the forest and the wetlands have been left alone for us to enjoy to this day.

Lake Mapourika, situated in the Franz Josef Glacier valley, was created some 14,000 years ago as the glacier retreated after a significant ice age. 


The surrounding tall peaks leave the lake calm and mirror-like, with unbeatable panoramic views of snow fields, glaciers and some of the tallest peaks in the country.

Surrounding Lake Mapourika is some of Westland’s oldest rainforest. This Jurassic age rain forest is part of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary which spans over 11,000 hectares. This area is the protected habitat of the rarest kiwi on the planet – the Rowi.

native birds & fish

Lake Mapourika is home to a variety of native birds and introduced game fish (Salmon and Brown trout). The Lake Mapourika Jetty is an iconic photo stop off the West Coast’s State Highway 6.  However, the landscape views and the fishing are best enjoyed off shore by boat or kayak.


Our knowledgeable team of passionate kayak guides and skippers provide local insight about conservation, the flora and fauna, as well as the natural geographical history of the area.


Our sustainable tours are conservation orientated, with a portion of all trips going towards the ongoing conservation of the Westland Tai Poutini National Park.  This region is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site so we let’s all do our part to preserve it.