Florence Hill Lookout, The Catlins
Florence Hill Lookout, The Catlins

Discover The Catlins

Considered by many New Zealanders as a must visit, The Catlins is a stunning coastal stretch between Invercargill and Balclutha of rugged beauty reminiscent of a bygone era. Here you'll find a place full of native forests, cascading waterfalls, secret lakes and bays and deserted sandy beaches. From picturesque lighthouses to a petrified forest, this area is home to bountiful fauna such as seals, sea lions, Pahu hector's dolphins, hoi ho yellow-eyed penguins and more! The areas natural landscapes and extraordinary wildlife is a sight to see!

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Plenty of sights to see, if you're looking for the best spots than local guide Lyndon from Catlins Mohua Park can show you the sights on his ATV tours. The Catlins is also home to the famous Petrified Forest, this 180-million-year-old Jurassic fossil forest, revealed with the outgoing tide, is one of only three accessible fossil forests in the world!

Hit the water for a paddle in Papatowai where you can even start the day watching wildlife rise for the morning. Surfing at Curio Bay with Catlin’s Surf School often brings incredible experience of surfing next to a pod of Hector’s dolphins who are fond of the area.   

A must see for anyone passing through Papatowai is a stop at The Lost Gypsy, a showcase of wind up and water driven automata created by tinkerer Blair Somerville. For a small entry fee you could spend an endless amount of time inspired by the pure genius of the gadgets that have been put together out of previously loved (or littered) items!  And finish up with a coffee and homemade cake from the Little Rocket Coffee Cart parked up beside the gallery.

Check out more things to do in the Catlins here.

McLean Falls

The 22 metre McLean Falls on the Tautuku River in the Catlins Conservation Park are often described as the most spectacular in the region. The 40-minute return walk to the falls, though uphill, is not too steep and very pleasant…


There are so many stops that make the trip through the Catlins one to remember and none should be rushed. How can you choose between New Zealand's most-photographed waterfall Pūrākaunui Falls or the mesmerizing McLean Falls? Florence Hill Lookout offers a jaw dropping view of a blue/green ocean rolling onto white sandy beaches. It is a stark contrast to the luscious green podocarp forest that skirts the coast.   

The wonders keep coming with the Cathedral Caves a popular tourist spot that dwarf any dweller that enters. At 200m long and 30m high it is only accessible at low tide so be sure to check first!  At the far end of the Catlins is Nugget Point, aptly named as it sure looks like giant gold nuggets poking out from the ocean. The lookout to the Nuggets is below the infamous Nugget Point lighthouse, a historical working lighthouse that almost mimics its counterpart at the other end of the Catlins, the Waipapa Point Lighthouse.

Check out more things to see in the Catlins here.

Niagara Falls Cafe

We have a natural and simple approach to food here at the Niagara Falls Cafe. Housed in a historic school building, we aim to provide quality meals using home grown vegetables and herbs and the best of Southland"s fresh produce. We…


Although The Catlins is full of nature there are still quite a few spots to reenergise yourself. Like Niagara Falls Café, not just famous because of its namesake – this gorgeous old schoolhouse café serves up incredible homemade delicacies that locals from all over the region travel to sample.   

Although found across the region, there seems to be nothing sweeter than finishing your day with a tipple of the Catlin’s finest drop – a craft beer (or cider) brewed right in the heart of the Catlins. Catlin’s Brewery products are found at many taverns, restaurants and supermarkets across the Catlins and the wider Southland region.  

Check out more food spots in the Catlins here.

Greenwood Farmstay

We offer comfortable, quality accommodation in our home and garden surrounded by the land that has been farmed (sheep, cattle, and deer) by the Burgess family for more than 100 years. Alan enjoys taking guests on a farm trip and has…


Whether you are travelling as a group, a family or a couple there are a number of accommodation options through the region. Many are holiday homes or small B&B’s that overlook the stunning bays in the region. 

Although the environment is wild, this doesn’t mean guests have to rough it, Mohua Park offers warm hospitality and high-end self-contained eco cottages that tuck into the hillside over looking lush farmland. Even the new Beresford Heights offers something different, perched high on a hill with your chauffeur at the helm of an ATV escorting you over farmland to the remote getaway. Or watch the sunrise from Pūrākaunui Bay at the Campsite.

Check out more places to stay in the Catlins here.

Discover Fiordland

Tucked away in the South Western edgeof New Zealand, Fiordland is home to 14 fiords, New Zealand’s deepest lakes, tallest waterfall, steep granite mountains, glacial carved valleys and jaw-dropping… Read More