Lake Wilkie Southland New Zealand Credit Sam Deuchrass 4 1

FAQ & Tips
for Travelling

we have the answers to your questions

Where are the nearest Fuel and Electric Vehicle charging stations?

Fuel Stations are at Ōwaka, Papatowai, Tokanui or Fortrose  and an Electric Vehicle charging Station is located at Ōwaka, Papatowai, Curio Bay and the Fortrose Café. For more information on when the Fuel stations are open and what type of payment is required view The Catlins map

What is there to do and see in The Catlins, how long will it take and what are the scenic highlights?

Allow plenty of time as there is plenty to do and see in The Catlins such as walks, cycling, surfing and fishing. See information on things to do and see  and the scenic highlights. To help you plan your trip look at the Maps and Brochures.

When are the Cathedral Caves open?

Access to the Caves is via private land and is influenced by tides therefore the Cathedral Caves are subject to closure at various times. Visit the Cathedral Caves website for more information on when the Caves are open and tide chart  or enquire at Information Centres for the latest information

When and where I may see wildlife?

For information on when and where you may see wildlife e.g. penguins, sea lions, dolphins and various bird life visit the Where to see page.

Please be aware you will visiting wildlife in their natural habitat, so please respect this privilege and give them plenty of space 

How do I behave around wildlife?

Give wildlife space so they do not feel threatened.  For more information on how you should behave around wildlife have a look at the Care Code and/or visit the Department of Conservation website 

Where can I find a cafe, restaurant or a place to buy food?

There are some food outlets in The Catlins such as a cafés, restaurants and places to buy food, but it varies from place to place i.e., Kākā Point, Ōwaka, Papatowai, Curio Bay, near McLean Falls, Niagara, Tokanui and Fortrose.  For more information on what specific food outlets are available at each township visit food, services & retail or have a look at the Visitor Guide or The Catlins map 

Might pay to call ahead or make a booking as opening hours may vary

Where is the nearest bank or cash machine?

Banks can be found in Balclutha and Invercargill.  Cash machines (which may require pin numbers), are located at Tokanui Tavern, the Owaka Four Square and The Catlins Inn.  For more information on the cash machine requirements have a look at The Catlins map

Where is the nearest cell phone coverage and wi-fi access?

Cell phone coverage is limited but is in the main townships of Papatowai, Ōwaka and Tokanui and some parts of Kākā Point.  However, cell phone coverage varies depending if you have Spark or Vodafone as some has better access than others in some locations.  For more information, click on the following links for Spark, Vodaphone and 2 degrees.

Wi-fi access can be limited between townships but is available at Kākā Point, Pounawea, Ōwaka , Curio Bay, Waikawa and Tokanui pub (payment may be required for Wi-fi).  For more information on cell phone coverage and wi-fi access have a look at The Catlins map

What are the weather conditions like?

The weather varies each day, so it is important to be prepared in what you wear and take with you.  For more information on the weather conditions visit the climate page

In the event of an emergency who should I contact?

For Police, Fire, accident or sudden illness emergency, phone 111. To phone police from a cell phone 555.  A police Station is located in Ōwaka .

Who do I contact for a conservation or wildlife emergency?

For a conservation or wildlife emergency phone Department of Conservation 0800 362 468 or Environment Southland Regional Council 0800 76 88 45 or Otago Regional Council 0800 474 082

Where can I camp in The Catlins?

Camping is available in The Catlins, but for more information on what camping is available and where you can responsibly camp have a look at the Catlins map and   Where Will You Camp?


Where is the nearest playground or public toilet?

For information on playgrounds and public toilets, have a look at The Catlins Map

Where can I find a recycling centre or Dump station?

Have a look at The Catlins map for information on recycling Centres and Dump stations

Can I light a campfire when I’m travelling in The Catlins?

Use Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s simple 3-step tool to tell you whether you can light your fire or do your outdoor work safely, what the fire risk is and what you should do to stay safe.

Tips for Travelling

-  For the enjoyment and safety of others please limit vehicle use on beaches.
-  Sheep and cattle on the roads - drive slowly and stay in your vehicle.
- Keep left, respect others and pass stationary school buses at 20km/h.
- Reduce speed when driving on unsealed roads.
- Where able, plan ahead as there is limited wi-fi and cell phone coverage in much of The Catlins.

Read The Catlins Care Code.

Public phones are located in Kākā Point, Ōwaka, Papatowai and Tokanui.

In the event of an emergency e.g. police, fire, accident or sudden illness, phone 111 or to phone police from a cell phone - 555.

In the event of a conservation or wildlife emergency phone 0800 362 468.

More about Visitor Information...