Self-guided walk from Papatowai
(Open Nov-April inclusive))
The Catlins region in southern New Zealand is a rugged natural retreat where wilderness and farmland coexist, where beech and podocarp trees grow in the rainforest. Filled with abundant native bird life the forests extend from hill tops to the coast. The headlands and beaches of the diverse coast are home to sub-antarctic wildlife such as yellow-eyed penguins, oceanic seabirds and sea lions. The Catlins is a haven for those who love nature and a place to stay a while in order to enjoy the freedom of the many eco-tourism opportunities.
These Catlins tours cater to the varied tastes of visitors to the region. You can choose cosy self-catering cottage accommodation with advice from the owners on how to discover the area; or take one of the walks or eco-tour packages to explore, see the wildlife, and learn about the natural history of the area.
The organised self-guided tours include the following:
- Two Day 26 km self-guided private walk from and back to Papatowai
- Experience the true Catlins
- Rugged coast beaches
- Cliff top viewpoints
- Rich natural forests
- Varied farmland
The walk starts at Papatowai, and on the first day traverses a remote beach, along a cliff-top and high farmland to the overnight accommodation at the “Top Bus”. Top Bus is an old trolley bus located at a hill-top viewpoint and converted to back-country hut standard accommodation for up to six people, with 2 double bunks, a double bed (with pillows), gas cooker and cooking and eating utensils. There is a piped water supply and a “loo with a view”.
On the second day the walk passes through three natural forests and over some of the highest farmland in The Catlins where there are great views across the central Catlins. The route then follows the path of the historic Catlins railway down to the forest-lined Maclennan River. The trip then returns to the starting point, Papatowai. Walkers are provided with a detailed GUIDE BOOKLET describing the route and interesting features along the way.
The cost of the two day walk is $45 per person and walkers take their own food and sleeping bag. It is possible to do the walk in one day of about ten hours, cost $25. Packs can be carried for walkers at a cost of $10 per person minimum of $40.