The Catlins

New Zealand Vacations has taken a lead in introducing a fascinating region called 'The Catlins' to North American visitors. It's a remote place at the bottom of the South Island. Wildlife abounds along the coastline; sea lions, dolphins, seals, whales, albatross, gannets and millions of petrels are found here, as are breeding populations of yellow eyed and little blue penguins. And there's more!

There's the walking tracks, the waterfalls, the forests, the scenic drives and some beautiful white sand beaches. That's just some of the reasons we like 'The Catlins' so much.

The bad news is (but mainly the good news) there have been no large scale tourism developments in the region, so if you wish to take the time to stay and look around, your accommodation will be at one of our favorite farm-stays or recommended B&B's. Here's one of our New Zealand Vacations itineraries that includes The Catlins. It's a 25 day itinerary called - Off The Beaten Path Self Drive - we can also add the Catlins to many of our other suggested itineraries if you would like to take a look.

A final note; the sea stays cold here all year round so only the hardy will swim. And wherever there's abundant sea life, a pesky predator is never far behind .. in this case, White Pointer Sharks are occasionally spotted.

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The beach at Paraukanui

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The waterfalls near Paraukanui

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The stunning Porpoise Bay in The Catlins. Yes it looks like a golf course in the foreground but no, it's just farmland.

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In Porpoise Bay, there are about 20 resident Hector dolphins that often swim close to shore.

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Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Aug 01, 2016