The Catlins are made up of several tiny rural hideaways along the Southern Scenic Route. The area has fantastic scenery and wildlife; it is home to Hector’s dolphins and Yellow-eyed penguins – two of the world’s rarest species, and there are also many seal and sea lion colonies along the coast. Rolling green hills and windswept trees make for a captivating landscape. Kayaking is great here and it has some of the South Island’s best and least crowded surf. You need to have a car (or some luck hitchhiking) to explore the Catlins and most of the roads are unpaved; but the area has some unique natural attractions that reward you for the effort of travelling in this relatively remote area.
Since there are barely any shops, cash machines or facilities in most places, fill your tank and buy groceries in Balclutha to the north or Invercargill to the south before your journey.
Hillview Camp Site & Backpackers
Thomas’s Catlins Lodge
The Split Level
Surat Bay Lodge
Hill Top Backpackers
Waikawa and Curio Bay
Lazy Dolphin Lodge
Penguin Paradise Holiday Lodge
Catlins Beach House Accommodation
Slope Point Accommodation
BUG's hostel reviews have moved to hostelcritic.com