Top 5 Attractions in the Catlins, New Zealand

The Catlins is one of the most beautiful areas in South Island, New Zealand. Visit this remote part of the country to explore the rugged natural beauty, rich wildlife and captivating culture of the region. A holiday here is your chance to participate in various outdoor activities, check out interesting collections at small museums and dine in style at sophisticated restaurants. Let’s check out some of the finest attractions at the Catlins.

Nugget Point  by Russellstreet CC BY

Nugget Point by Russellstreet CC BY

Nugget Point

One of the oldest lighthouses in New Zealand can be found at Nugget Point. This is probably the best place to admire the dazzling views of The Nuggets, wave-ordered rocks that look like gold nuggets. It is also famous for its fur seal colony. Visit Roaring Bay, located just a walk away from the Nugget Point to take a look at the cute, yellow-eyed penguins.

Curio Bay

Curio Bay is popular for its fossil forest, wildlife as well as its gorgeous waters. According to experts, the fossils here belong to the Jurassic era. Visitors can often spot yellow-eyed penguins at this bay. Enjoy a leisure walk to reach Porpoise Bay which is home to Hector’s dolphins, a species which is found only in New Zealand.

Cathedral Caves

This is probably the most prominent coastal attraction in the Catlins. These majestic 30-metre high caves are accessible only during the low tide and that’s why it is always recommended to check the official website before planning a day out here. The entrance is located on a private beach, and you need to pay nominal entry fee.

Purakaunui Falls

These falls are among the most popular waterfalls in New Zealand and are probably the most photographed attraction in the Catlins. It is located in the Catlins Forest Park. From the top viewing platform, you can admire the stunning beauty of three-tiered Purakaunui Falls. Purakaunui Beach is located in close proximity to the falls.

Owaka Museum

Owaka Museum and the Catlins Information Centre are located in the same premises. Visit the information centre to know about the landscape and the wildlife of the Catlins. Spend some time at the Owaka Museum to explore interesting exhibits that represent various aspects of the Catlins and New Zealand. The museum also hosts a range of research and educational programmes.