A special place rich in natural and human history.

Papatowai means "Where forest meets sea".

The Papatowai township has a permanent population of about 30 people. This swells to more than 150 during holiday periods.

History - Maori people hunted and lived here for over 800 years and from the late 1800s an ever-widening number of people have enjoyed Papatowai’s landscape, fishing, swimming, sandy beach and forest walking tracks.

Attractions and Services:

  • Where to Stay including motor camp, motels, backpackers, self- catering cottages
  • Food and Services including general store, fuel and gallery.
  • Walks including Picnic Point and Shanks’ Bush Nature Trail.
  • Picnic area with toilets and an information panel with a map of the tracks.
  • Children’s playground
  • Nature & Wildlife The estuary is a feeding ground for many long-legged wading birds; and the rich sea is home to New Zealand sea lions, fur seals, penguins and many species of sea birds and fish.
  • Wet and Wild activities – fishing in the estuary or from the rocks at Papatowai Beach.

Location: 1 hour from Balclutha, 1 hour 40 minutes drive from Invercargill