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The Catlins

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The Catlins

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The Catlins [2] is a hilly, forested and sparsely populated area (even by New Zealand standards) in the eastern part of Southland. Much of it is preserved by the Catlins Forest Park.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Curio Bay - A 160 million year old fossilized forest.
  • Waipapa Point. Historic lighthouse - scene of NZ's worst civilian shipwreck the SS Tararua, in 1881. Sealions live here.  edit
  • The Nuggets. A dramatic seascape with lighthouse, fur seals, and nearby yellow-eyed penguins.  edit
  • Slope Point, South Island's most southerly point. A gravel road turns off the Curio Bay-Haldane Road, taking you six km to the parking site for a walk across private farmland to the Slope Point light. On a rare still day it can be stunning here. The walkway is closed for lambing during October and November.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The Catlins River walk is beautiful and costs nothing except the fuel to get to Tawanui camping-group from where the five-hour walk starts. You need a car at the other end (The Wisp) so that you don't have a ten-hour tramp!) Swap keys at the half-way point and meet back at Owaka. If you're lucky you might see a Mohua (yellow-head) a rare and beautiful little native bird. You will certainly see some tomtits which, clinging to tree-trunks look for all the world like black and white butterflies. The bed of the river in places is sheer rock which gives it a unique look. There are some scary wire bridges.
  • Purakanui Falls - The primeval forest leading to them is worth the trip alone.
  • Cathedral Caves. Open only at low tide.  edit
  • McLean Falls. A beautiful nature's garden leads to the highest of the local waterfalls  edit
  • Waipohatu Forest Walks -short and long. Close to the turnoff for Slope Point, Waipohatu offers a sheltered contrast to the wild coast. There are two walks, one of wheelchair standard, 1km, with diverse ferns, podocarps and broad-leaved trees; the other a three hour adventure to two hidden falls.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Niagara Falls Cafe/Gallery. Quality food and service in an informal friendly setting.  edit
  • Stirling Tides Food and Fuel. Right at Fortrose waterfront, looking over the Mataura estuary.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Catlins Mohua Park (Catlins Wildlife Trackers), 744 Catlins Valley Road (15 Kilometres South of Owaka), 64 3 4158613, [1]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 1PM. Set deep in the heart of The Catlins, Mohua Park offers luxury self-catering accommodation in a tranquil natural setting. Eco-friendly solar design cottages all have great views and acccess to a private native forest reserve. Mohua Park is within walking distance of the Catlins River for trout fishing and the Catlins River Track for bush walking. Within 20 minutes drive is the wildlife-rich Catlins coast. NZ$170.  edit
  • Hilltop Accommodation (Papatowai), 77 Tahakopa Valley Road (Overlooking Papatowai. Turn inland between the store and the estuary), 03 4158028. Two refurbished character farm cottages, set against native forest and with spectacular sea and valley views. Ensuite, double, twin and bunks  edit
  • The Garden House near Fortrose. Holiday home set in large garden on coastal farming property, everything supplied, just bring your food and wine..christine at ph 0064 3 246 9526  edit


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