The Catlins Coast is one of New Zealand’s best-kept secrets. This magnificent wilderness area on the Southern Scenic Route stretches between the river town of Balclutha and Waipapa Point, its dense podocarp forest, rivers, waterfalls and rugged coastline providing a home to an abundance of native wildlife. Native birds fill the forest with song, while on the coast there are penguins, seals, sea lions, dolphins and whales.

Balclutha and the coal town of Kaitangata are the gateways to the Catlins Coast, and from here you can enjoy a nature break at the tiny seaside village of Kaka Point, with its pretty scenery and native wildlife. The Catlins’ main township of Owaka makes an ideal base for exploring the region’s natural highlights which include Nugget Point, with its seals and penguins, Purakaunui Falls, the sea-carved Cathedral Caves, Porpoise Bay - home to the native hector’s dolphin, and the ancient fossilised forest at Curio Bay. At the Catlin Coast’s southern boundary, you'll find superb fishing, forests and wildlife around tiny Tokanui.