Wildlife & Nature

The Catlins presents some of the wildest landscapes in Southland. Take in the spectacular cliffs at Nugget Point and Roaring Bay, Fortrose, and Slope Point – where there is a much-photographed signpost. Visit the magnificent Cathedral Caves, the intriguing Jack’s Blowhole in the Tunnel Rocks Reserve, and the scenic Lake Wilkie.

The idyllic Curio Bay (Tumu Toka) is home to a 180 million-year-old petrified forest from the Jurassic period, as well as Pahu Hector’s Dolphins and Hoiho Yellow-Eyed Penguins. Enjoy more marine wildlife and beach fun at a plethora of other bays, including Porpoise Bay, Kaka Point Beach, Surat Bay, Papatowai Beach and Tahakopa Bay, Jack’s Bay, and Tautuku Bay.

As well as plenty of beaches, the Catlins also boasts an abundance of waterfalls, such as the ironically named Manga Piri Niagara Falls, Horseshoe and Matai Falls, McLean Falls in the Catlins Conservation Park, and the extraordinary Pūrākaunui Falls.