Nature & Environment

The Catlins has a variety of features which make it unique to the eastern coast of the South Island. It is rugged, remote and endowed with large tracts of native rainforest. It has abundant wildlife, is sparsely populated and is very scenic and unspoilt. The climate is temperate with a generous annual rainfall which nurtures the predominantly green landscape. River valleys, hills, farmland, and forests which reach to the sea dominate the landscape. Coastal cliffs, estuaries, beaches, sea caves, rock stacks and a petrified forest add to the seascape.

Wildlife and native plants and trees are a feature of the Catlins. Varieties of sea birds are prolific and you may see the forest-dwelling birds tui, bellbird, fantail, native pigeon and the rare mohua. You may also be fortunate enough to observe yellow-eyed penguins from the viewing hides provided. The Catlins is also home to the New Zealand sea lion, fur seal and the Hector’s dolphin.

The forests contain many native tree species especially tree ferns, rata, kahikatea, miro, kamahi, and silver beech.

The remarkable Catlins is renowned for its ever-changing panoramic views of moody skies, wind-shorn trees, rugged shores, forests and pastureland.

Be sure to bring your camera when you explore the Catlins!

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