The little town of Owaka is home to only 400 people but services the wider Catlins area. Owaka is 25 minutes from Balclutha and is a beautiful area with some stunning scenery. It is the largest community in the rugged, forested Catlins area, close to the border with Southland, some 35 km south of Balclutha. The Owaka Valley is a truly beautiful place.
The town's name comes from the Maori for "the place of canoes", a reference to the town's location close to the Owaka River, which joins the Catlins River, close to the coast.
Papatowai is centrally located in the Catlins and is within a twenty minute drive of some of the better-known Catlins attractions, such as the Purakaunui Falls, Tautuku Beach, Lake Wilkie, Cathedral Caves and McLean Falls.
Tucked on the northern boundary of the spectacular Catlins Coast, Kaka Point is part of an area that has stunning scenery and a wealth of wildlife. This seaside village is home to only around 300 people and is perfect for a relaxing escape to get back to nature. It is also an ideal place to base yourself to explore the natural wonders of the Catlins Coast.
30km south-east of Balclutha, this windswept peninsula with its historic lighthouse (dating to 1869) is home to southern fur seals, native sealions, elephant seals and yellow-eyed penguins. There are also numerous seabirds, including gannets and shags. "The Nuggets" is an iconic landmark for the Catlins, and no travel photo album would be complete without a picture of the breathtaking peninsula.
For more information on The Catlins go to www.catlins.org.nz