The Catlins Activity Guide

These are just some of the stunning natural scenery and wildlife images from Kaka Point and The Catlins Area 

If you are wanting to see natural wildlife, outstanding scenery that includes rugged coastlines,beautiful beaches,waterfalls,caves, native forest, river or beach walks and historical sites or have access to a variety of recreational activities then The Catlins Region is where you should definitely visit for a memorable holiday. The Catlins Region offers visitors spectacular coastal views and untouched flora and fauna. The wildlife includes the Hector Dolphin, Hooker Sea Lions, Fur Seals, Yellow Eyed Penguins and many sea and native birds also frequent the area. This area is a photographers dream with the hugh variety of sights available.

Nugget Point is one of the most distinctive landforms along the Otago coast. It's a steep headland with a lighthouse and a scattering of rocky islets (The Nuggets). A five minute walk takes you to the lighthouse, where you'll enjoy amazing views along the coastline in both directions. If you look down onto the rocks directly below the lighthouse, you'll see fur seals lolling about, playing in rock pools and generally having fun. Bring binoculars for close-up viewing of this breeding colony. Nugget Point is also home to sea lions, sooty shearwaters, shags, yellow-eyed penguins, spoonbills and a breeding colony of gannets. Occasionally, elephant and leopard seals visit the area. If you watch the water for a while, you might see Hector's dolphins. From Nugget Point it's an easy walk to Roaring Bay, where you can hide and wait for yellow-eyed penguins. Early morning or sunset are the best times for viewing.

  • See the amazing Cathederal Caves, a 30 minute forest and beach walk that leads to 30 metre high caves

  • The Petrified Forest, a jurrasic age landscape

  • Cannibal Bay, a historic maori site 

  • Nugget Point a natural isthmus featuring the historic lighthouse, panoramic views and the seal colony

  • Nugget Point Yellow Eyed Penguin observatory

  • Porpoise Bay home of the Hector Dolphins

  • Surat Bay frequented by the huge Sea Lions

  • Purakaunui Falls a native forest setting with beautiful teered waterfalls

These are a few of the variety of sights in the Catlins Region there are a number of recreational activities to take part in to suit any level of fitness such as surfing, windsurfing, white baiting, sea and river fishing, diving, nature and wildlife walks at the river, lake, beach or forest, horse trekking, cycling, mountain biking and tramping.