The Catlins Coast, Southland

Published: May 29, 2015

The Catlins Coast is an area of New Zealand I had been wanting to explore for a long time as I’d heard such fantastic things about the scenery and the local wildlife. It’s a reasonably small and fairly isolated region tucked away down in the south east corner of the South Island, below Dunedin and to the east of Invercargill. Indeed the southernmost part of the South Island is Slope Point in the Catlins, not the town of Bluff as many kiwis mistakenly believe. You can’t get much more off the beaten path in New Zealand than the Catlins Coast and its remoteness is a huge part of its charm. I know I fell under its spell on my visit there and I can’t wait to have the chance to go back!

The Catlins fall partially in Southland and partially in Otago and manage to seamlessly combine some of the highlights that these two regions are known for - their history, their coastal fauna and their seaside scenery. The Catlins is a mix of sleepy little villages from yesteryear, stunning coastal geography and unexpected animal sightings. It’s a picturesque cocktail that is particularly enticing for photographers; from the tiny wooden churches to the golden bays, stunning waterfalls, lush forest, crumbling cliffs and towering sea caves. And let’s not forget the local stars - penguins, sea lions, fur seals and pods of dolphins can often be seen in and around the Catlins many bays.

For anyone that wants to explore a beautiful area that has largely remained off the radar of most tourism operators The Catlins is a well-kept secret that you can be a part of. We will be sure to let you know about all the hidden spots not to miss! 

Qualmark logo Matai Specialist Stamp logo

What our customers say

Once Upon A Trip in New Zealand were fantastic from beginning to end. I highly recommend this company. Romain was incredibly helpful in the months leading up to the trip, being ... - Jonathan Reynolds, USA

Read all reviews

Talk to us for your custom New Zealand & South Pacific Vacations