Through the Catlins to Invercargill

Curio Bay

The first leg of our trip around New Zealand’s South Island was a driving the Southern Scenic Route from Dunedin to Invercargill through the Catlins. The Catlins are a sparsely populated coastal area in the southeastern corner of the islands. Sparsely populated, but packed with amazing forests, bays, lighthouses and wildlife.

We stopped at the Whistling Frog Cafe and Campground near McLean Falls for lunch. It’s one of the few places to eat along this route, and the food was delicious.

Curio Bay, at the southern end of the Catlins, boasts yellow-eyed penguins (but not at mid-day, when we were there) and petrified wood (but not at high tide, when we were there).

Finally we turned inland to scope out the wheelchair accessible forest trail in the Waipohatu Recreation Area.



  1. Stephen

    some friends of mine just spent three weeks in n.z., and suggested that it was low on accessibility. what was your take on that?

  2. Katja (Post author)

    I’d rate it in general as on par with the US, especially motels. The magic words for motel searches are “access unit”. We stayed at a couple of places that surpassed any hotel I’ve ever stayed in in the States. What was a (minor) challenge was that I found far less information about accessibility on websites, etc, and had to pick up the phone and/or send an email to find out what the situation was.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *