- Cathedral Caves, gates open approx 2 hours before low tide and close approx 2 hours after low tide. Guests are advised to start walking down to the caves before the low tide time, so you don’t miss out. The caves are located 400m from us to the gate then an additional 2km to the car park. Entry fees may apply.
- Curio Bay, home of the 180-million year old Petrified Forest (best seen at low tide) and Yellow- eyed penguin colony, which can be seen as the sun is rising or setting. Hector’s dolphins (world’s smallest dolphin) also call Curio Bay and Porpoise Bay home and can be seen around high tide. Approx 30 minutes travel time.
- Lake Wilkie, go out to the main road and take a left, this is a short walk to a mirror lake that remains from the last ice age. It is home to many Whistling Tree Frogs.
- Lost Gypsy Gizmo Gallery, local inventor and gadget maker, Blair, opens his gypsy caravan to the public free of charge, which features many clever gizmos created by Blair. He has recently opened an interactive gadget garden, which may be entered for a $5 charge. You may visit him in the small settlement of Papatowai.
- McLean Falls, stay on Rewcastle Road and travel 3km from here to the carpark. These are by far the tallest waterfall in the Catlins, truly spectacular.
- Nugget Point, known as “Toka-ta, The rocks standing up out of water”. Located about 45 minutes from us it is a great place to see the sun rise and penguins can be seen from a lookout above Roaring Bay. There is also a lighthouse here.
- Slope Point, Southern most point of the South Island of New Zealand.
- Tautuku Beach, A great place to let your dog go for a run or for a lovely stroll on a practically private beach. Esther’s cave is located to the left of the beach at the end with the rocks, accessible at low tide. The “cribs” that can be seen across the bay were once houses to the whaling sailors.
- Tautuku Estuary Boardwalk, walk out onto a wooden boardwalk over the estuary and amongst the native red tussocks. The rare Fern Bird may also be seen here.
- Waipapa Point, great location for seeing the Hooker Sea lion and historical lighthouse. Stewart Island can also be seen on a clear day as well as the wreck of the S.S Tararua.
We have a variety of books and magazines available for loan located in the cafe and in the holiday park common room.
Cell phone Reception
We currently do not have cell phone reception in the Catlins area. Depending on your provider, reception may be picked up in Owaka and Fortrose.
We are a dog friendly Holiday Park, all we ask is for you to be a responsible owner and to clean up after it and keep it under control at all times. Beds and furniture are off limits, for obvious reasons. There are plenty of dog- friendly walks in the area including the McLean Falls, Lake Wilkie and Tautuku Beach.
Please note if additional cleaning is required/ damages occur to our property, fees may apply.
Drive Times/ Distances
Travelling on the Southern Scenic Route, North:
Rewcastle Road – Papatowai:12km (14minutes)
Papatowai – Owaka:38km (35 minutes)
Owaka – Balclutha:31km (25minutes)
Balclutha – Dunedin:80km (1 hour)
Travelling on the Southern Scenic Route, South:
Rewcastle Road- Curio Bay:30km (32 minutes)
Curio Bay- Slope point:14km (25 minutes)
Slope Point- Fortrose: 28km (35 minutes)
Fortrose- Invercargill:46km (40minutes)
Rewcastle Road- Tokanui:40km (33minutes)
Tokanui- Fortrose:12km (11minutes)
- We pride ourselves on being an eco-wise establishment. You can help us reduce the impact on the Catlins Rainforest in a few simple ways:
- Please hang up your bath towels to let them dry
- Turn off all lights when they are not in use, or you are leaving the premise.
- Tipping excess water on outdoor plants instead of down the sink
- Using the full toilet flush only when necessary, half flush for all other occasions
- Enjoy your shower, but please limit them to under 10 minutes
- Recycle all bottles, as we use a glass crusher to turn them back into sand
We have basic necessities available for purchase in the cafe, including house baked sourdough and multigrain loaves of bread, milk, free range eggs, butter, oil,
- The Laundry room is located in the gray amenities block in the holiday park between the Men’s and Ladies bathroom facilities. There are two washing machines and three dryers.
- The stacking washer/ dryer inside the laundry room takes either $1 or $2 coins
- The washing machine inside the laundry room takes $1 coins
- One dryer outside of the laundry room takes $2 coins
- One dryer outside of the laundry room takes $1 coins
- Each wash/ dry cycle costs $4 and we have washing powder available for purchase at the cafe reception for your convenience.
If you would like a Newspaper, we receive them Tuesday- Saturday. Please let us know the previous day if you would like one. They arrive to us around 11:00am with Ibby, the postman.
Petrol is available Monday- Saturday in Papatowai (12km), Tokanui, Fortrose (51km), Owaka (24/7 NZ credit card operated, 38km)
A playground is located behind the cafe. Enjoy a refreshing beverage or meal while you watch your kids play.
Possum Trackers River Walk
Ask your friendly hosts at reception about our private, 1 hour return river loop walk. Great for a quick, natural walk close by. No driving required.
We can send letters and postcards from the cafe reception. We also have stamps available for purchase.
Please dispose of any glass bottles in our designated recycle bins. These are located outside the Motel kitchen, outside the common room as well as inside the campground kitchen. These will then be collected and crushed back into sand.
We respect your privacy during your stay, therefore we do not automatically service rooms. Please notify us at reception if you require anything refreshed (eg. Clean towels, tea/coffee sachets, toilet paper, etc). We may also do a full service of your room on request if your stay is of three nights or more.
A coin operated payphone is located in the cafe reception. We also have a phone card operated telephone available; a $2 connection fee may apply. Telephone cards are also available for purchase in the cafe.
We offer a free booking service on all “Real Journey” tours for Doubtful Sounds and Milford Sounds overnight/ day cruises, Te Anau Glow worms, Stewart Island tours, Southern Lakes Helicopter Tours. Booking your trip is advised so you don’t miss out!
V.I.P Kiwi Cards
We have recently become a part of the Kiwi Holiday Park team and accept Kiwi Holiday Park discount cards here. Become a member today and start saving your way around New Zealand. There are over 45 Kiwi Holiday Parks throughout New Zealand. A kiwi card costs $30 and you save 10% at every Kiwi Holiday Park (up to the value of $30 per stay), as well as discounts on many attractions, cafes and transportation options in New Zealand. They are valid for 2 years and can be purchased from reception.
Whistling Frog Cafe
Our cafe & bar is conveniently located on the premises for you to enjoy during your stay.
HAPPY HOUR: 4:30- 6pm EVERYDAY featuring $7 house tap beer handles (450ml), $7 glasses of our house NZ wine, $7 house spirits
Please Note: Being a rural restaurant our hours of operation vary and we close earlier than most city eateries. So you don’t miss the opportunity to dine with us, please see reception to make a reservation and to see our current hours of operation.
Please connect to the “Free Frog” Guest Wifi network and enter your voucher number when prompted in your internet browser. A limited amount of Free Wifi is given on check in. Additional vouchers may be purchased from the cafe reception. ($1= 30 minutes, $2= 1 hour, $4= 2 hours, $5= 4 hours, $10= 24 hours)
Each voucher may only be used once. If it says “invalid voucher” please open up a new tab in your internet browser for it to register and refresh. Wifi is accessible throughout the holiday park and the cafe.
Emergency Fire Procedures:
1.Sound the alarm, ensure fire service has been called. Dial 111 from the “After Hours” handset located outside the cafe entrance.
2.Evacuate your room immediately via the safest escape route
3.Report to the assembly area immediately, which is located in the Whistling Frog Car Park
4.Only if conditions permit, should attempts be made to extinguish the fire
All accommodation units and communal areas are strictly smoke free. Smoking inside communal areas has been prohibited by New Zealand Law since 2004. Anyone not following this policy will be fined $100 instantly. Additional cleaning charges may also apply.
Our reception hours vary throughout the year. We have longer hours in summer and shorter hours in winter. Please see the reception door for current hours of operation.
Check- out Time is at 10am
-Please return all keys to reception or in the “key box” located outside of reception if we are not open. Failing to return your key will result in a $20 replacement fee.
- If you require a late check- out of up to 12:30pm, this must be prearranged with management and there is a $30 charge. If you have not checked out by 10am and are not staying another night with us, then you will automatically be charged $30.
We allow pets on our premises by prior arrangement only. We have certain rooms that are dedicated to have pets in them. No pets are allowed on furniture or beds, for obvious reasons. All pets must be declared on arrival, failure to do so may result in additional charges and cleaning expenses. Pets are welcome to join us in the outdoor dining area at the cafe, please bring them on a leash.
We respect our guests’ privacy and do not automatically service our accommodation units. If you require a refreshment of anything, please let us know at reception.
Awards and Ratings
We have maintained a 4+ Star Qualmark Rating, Lonely Planet “Greendex” eco-friendly award and the Trip Advisor Award of Excellence 2013..