Papatowai Bridge closure - 29 February - 23 May 2016

Detour Map
The Papatowai Bridge in the Catlins will be closed for major repairs from Monday, 29 February until 23 May 2016. This is after the Papatowai Challenge takes place. It is critical that the work on the bridge happens soon as otherwise weight restrictions will have to be imposed meaning commercial traffic such as tourist buses and logging trucks would not be able to use the bridge.
The deck of the bridge is being strengthened, but the piles of the bridge also need to be repaired and this involves work in the river. Firstly, this work can only be carried during low river flows, which occur during the summer months.  Secondly, resource consent conditions mean work in the waterways (river) must be carried out before the end of April (and cannot occur again until October).
Detours will be put in place, but these will be on gravel roads.
We apologise for the impact this closure is going to have on local businesses and visitors to the Catlins, but it is not possible to carry out the work during winter months. Council will have ongoing discussions with the contractor carrying out the project to minimise to the closure.

Cathedral Caves

The caves are open but there is a high probability of getting wet so be prepared. How wet will obviously change each tide. Because access is still difficult, the caves will only be open 1 hour either side of low tide in the meantime. This will be monitored and altered when the sand once again builds up at the entrance.
Please always check the tide charts or ask at Information Centres for the latest information.

South East Protection Forum

This forum has been established by the government to seek public opinion on the long term vision for New Zealand’s coast. Over the next 18 months meetings will be held to consider the marine environment from Timaru to Waiapapa Point.  Poster.
For more information including about meetings go to


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Events Calendar

April 2016

2 Apr: Tokanui Big Rock Cougars - Progress Valley

A motorbike trail ride for keen motorbike enthusiasts.
Contact Sarah McLean, Ph 03 2468 78103 2468 781, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

June 2016

June: Southland Districts Arts Trust Poetry Day - Tokanui Tavern 2pm

Recitals of poetry including original material.
Contact Steven Hayes, Ph 03 2468 44603 2468 446

July 2016

July: Edible Art and Multi Challenge Tokanui Tavern 2pm

Contact Janice Broad, Ph 03 2469 56603 2469 566

August 2015

Aug: The Catlins Coast Rally - An exciting car rally tackling many country roads.

Roger Laird, Ph/Fax 03 208 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

November 2016

Nov: Catlins Coastal Challenges.

Contact Rachel Taylor 021 086 14040021 086 14040(03) 341 80883(03) 341 80883, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or go to

Dec 2016

6 Dec: Tri Pounawea Duathlon - Jacobs Hill Run/Walk

The Tri Pounawea Duathlon was a new event for the Catlins in 2009 organised by a group of local ladies. This is a fundraising event and all proceeds will be directed back into the community.

Tri Pounawea photo gallery

Phone Anne-Marie on 0276010974

28 Dec: Curio Bay Big Dig and Talent Quest

Community fundraising event. From 11.00 am.
Val Whyte, Ph 03 2468 89703 2468 897

31st Dec: Kaka Point New Year’s Eve

Annual bonfire on the beach.

31 Dec: New Year’s Eve Hoe Down

Locals and visitors get together to see in the New Year at Niagara Hall.
Janice Broad - 03 2469 56603 2469 566, Marylyn Hayes - 03 2468 44603 2468 446

January 2017

5 Jan: Catlins Heritage Tour

Commentaries from Catlins Historical Society members.
Beginning at 1.30pm and lasting 2 – 3 hours.
$20 per car, $10 per person. Afternoon tea at museum included in price.
Contact John Burgess 4158 293 or Carolyn Deverson Abernethy 4158 880.

9 Jan: Beach Market Day at Kaka Point

Beach Market Day at Kaka Point
Saturday 10th January 2013 9.30 am - 2.00 pm
50 + Stalls.
Held in the Community Hall and surrounding areas outside the hall and The Point Cafe & Bar.
Areas set aside for car boot sales.
Contact Pauline Simpson 03 412 878303 412 8783.

Starting 20 Jan: Clutha Country Summer Series – Tri Athlon

Holiday Triathlon Series, Contact Tiny Carruthers 027 4367 174027 4367 174

30 Jan: Robbie Burns Scottish Night Hoe Down - Niagara Hall

Look out the tartan and come and celebrate Robbie Burns birthday at Niagara Hall. 8 pm. $5 entry.
Enquiries Janice Broad - 03 2469 56603 2469 566 or Steven Hayes 2468 446

February 2017

6-7 Feb: Bluegrass Music Festival - Niagara Falls Café

The Progress Valley Possum Pickers
For enquiries please contact:
Music - Steven Hayes on (03) 2468 446(03) 2468 446 or email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Camping - Steven Hayes on (03) 2468 446(03) 2468 446 or Alton McDonald (03) 217 5608(03) 217 5608 or email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Stalls, entertainment and restaurant bookings please call Niagara Falls Cafe (03) 2468 577(03) 2468 577 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Click here  to view photos of this event.

Feb: The Catlins Great Escape Coastal Walk

Waikawa to Weirs Beach - more details to follow
Contact Projects Coordinator, Rachel Taylor, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 02 108614040

23 Feb: Catlins Wisp Hill Climb Trail Ride

Trail Ride Owaka/Clinton Rd.
Contact Lyndon Clark, 03 415 883403 415 8834, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

27 Feb - 6 Mar: Edge of the World Mixed Media Art Exhibition - Waikawa Hall

Local and outside artists exhibit a vibrant range of works. Small door charge. 9.00 am - 5.00 pm daily.
For more details contact: Janice Broad - 03 2469 56603 2469 566 or Cala Paenga - 03 2468 43403 2468 434

March 2017

4 Mar - Papatowai Challenge

The Papatowai Challenge is a pre-season fun run and walk from a holiday home in the Catlins. It is
signposted at the south end of Tahakopa River Bridge Papatowai. Runners must be 13 years & over.
Papatowai is located approximately two hours from Dunedin and twenty-five minutes south of Owaka.
The Southern Scenic Route is now fully sealed. The Papatowai Challenge is run over the measured distance of 15.5 km and is over a varied scenic
course of well formed bush tracks, beach running and local roads.
For more information contact Wayne Allen 03 454 486303 454 4863, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Mar: The Catlins Canter - Owaka

An annual two day horse trek hosted by the Owaka Lions Club.
Warren Burgess, Owaka Lions Club, 03 415 801903 415 8019

20 Mar: Johnstone Electrical Bridge to Beach event

An annual event with range of race options from Balclutha to Kaka Point.
Lisa Lyall,, 0275 42 77 420275 42 77 42

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Catlins Coast Newsletter September - October 2015

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