Welcome to The Catlins


Over centuries, semi-nomadic Māori came to the Catlins to make canoes from local timber. In the 19th century, European whalers and sealers arrived (the region is named after a whaling captain). Though increasingly popular with visitors, the sparse Catlins retain a faraway feel – especially when an Antarctic southerly blasts in...


Top experiences in The Catlins

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

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The Catlins activities

$34.08 Tours & Sightseeing

Stewart Island: Village and Bays Tour

Gain an entertaining insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community, and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island. Unspoiled, incredibly beautiful, and steeped in stories, Stewart Island (known as Rakiura — glowing skies — by Maori) is well worth this informative introduction. Our friendly guides enjoy sharing their knowledge of the area on this mini-bus tour of the Island. You will have plenty of time to get off the bus for photo stops and short walks. Highlights include a visit to the gateway to Rakiura National Park at Lee Bay, beautiful Horseshoe Bay and Observation Rock with its stunning views of Paterson Inlet.So get comfortable on our modern mini bus and enjoy the ride of your life!

$59.11 Transfers & Ground Transport

One-Way Ferry from Stewart Island to Bluff

Zip across Foveaux Strait between Bluff and Stewart Island on our comfortable catamarans. Return to Bluff after a wonderful visit to Stewart Island, just one hour’s ferry ride from Stewart Island. During the trip keep an eye out for wildlife – particularly seabirds such as Mollymawk (Albatross) and Titi which often follow the vessel. Our friendly staff provide informative commentary and point out highlights. Ferry crossings operate all year round. Distance covered is 40km (approx. 25 miles). Interpretation handouts and complimentary tea and coffee are available. All vessels are wheelchair accessible.  Passengers are required to check-in to the Bluff or Stewart Island Visitor Terminals 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Check-in and boarding gates are closed 15 minutes before scheduled ferry departure times.

$68.85 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Ulva Island Explorer from Stewart Island

Discover Stewart Island from the water on a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet, departing aboard your catamaran from the Stewart Island Ferry Terminal. You’ll hear fascinating stories of early Maori history and European settlement from your guide's informative commentary as you pass various landmarks; penguins and New Zealand fur seals also inhabit these waters. If you opted for lunch, you're served a sandwich, cheese and crackers, dried or fresh fruit, and fruit juice on board.Paterson Inlet is home to the Ulva Island wildlife sanctuary, where you'll stop for a 45-minute guided walk. Many rare and endangered native birds flourish in the predator-free environment, including the weka (native woodhen), bush robin, saddleback, and yellowhead, among other species. It is also protected habitat for some of New Zealand’s rarest plant species.Relax for the remainder of your cruise around Paterson Inlet and enjoy the coastal scenery before heading back to base.

The Catlins in detail