The Catlins offers a glimpse of rural New Zealand set amid native forests, fringed by high cliffs and golden beaches. Here, you’ll find a world of waterfalls, including the tiered Purakaunui Falls, one of the most photographed in the world. The area’s many walking tracks provide access to some special scenic, historic and culturally significant sites. This spectacular coastal stretch is home to an array of marine life – sea lions are regular beach visitors, while dolphins frolic in the shallows. Keep your eyes peeled for the rare but distinctive Hoiho, the Yellow-eyed Penguin.
Few places offer such scenic, wildlife and recreational values in one small area. This idyllic bay is home to a 180 million year old petrified forest, dolphins and Yellow-eyed penguins. Just down the road is Waikawa, a small fishing settlement teeming with wildlife.
The Catlins is home to some of the most photographed water falls in New Zealand. McLean Falls, Purakaunui Falls and the Matai Falls are a must see on your visit to The Catlins.
Old School Townships
Explore the history of The Catlins community by visiting Tokanui, Waikawa & Owaka. Here you will learn about the whaling, saw milling & gold mining history, which dates back to the regions settlement in the 1860’s. At the cafes try the local delicacy, whitebait fritters.
Nestled amongst golden beaches and lighthouses are New Zealand fur seals/kekeno, Southern elephant seals/ihupuku, New Zealand sea lions/whakahao, and Yellow eyed penguins/hoiho.
The Catlins has a wealth of unique landforms. Follow the Southern Scenic Route and check out the numerous attractions including Nugget Point, Jacks Blowhole, Lake Wilkie, Cathedral Caves, Slope Point and the lighthouse at Waipapa Point.
The Catlins heritage trail which feature 13 heritage sites, is a great way to explore the scenic beauty and the rich history of The Catlins.
Check out our Southland events calendar and find out what is coming up so you can plan your trip south.View
Southland gives visitors an unrivalled opportunity to get up close and personal with a wide range of wildlife and experience New Zealand at its natural best.View
Sandy beaches, abundant forests, mountainous plains and leisurely rivers give travellers a new adventure to pursue around every corner.View