The Clutha District is home to a world of waterfalls, with a number of unique waterfalls throughout The Catlins

Barr Falls

Barr Falls, The Catlins

Barr Falls are seen to be the smallest of the six waterfalls through the northern Catlins. They are signposted just south of the township of Owaka. It is an easy walk through rainforest to these steep cliff faces with falls down either side, and a smaller one downstream.

Pūrākaunui Falls

Pūrākaunui Falls, The Catlins

Further south, perhaps the most renowned waterfall in The Catlins is Pūrākaunui Falls with its tripled tiered cascade. It is a short stroll from the car park and offers the rare treat of a central viewing platform. You can see why it is one of the World's most photographed waterfalls and has even appeared on a postage stamp!

Matai and Horseshoe Falls Rail Trail

Matai Falls, The Catlins

A short drive takes you to the double delight of Matai and Horseshoe Falls Rail Trail which each have their own character. The walk to the falls will take up to 2 hours return. Opened in 1915, follow the old railway trail through The Catlins. For the best lighting, we recommend that you visit these falls around midday.

McLean Falls

McLean Falls, The Catlins

Located south of Papatowai, and after a short stop at Florence Hill Lookout, you will find McLean Falls - the highest, and perhaps the most spectacular within the Southern region made up from two waterfalls, an upper and lower. The walk is 20 minutes each way and follows the Tautuku River. 

Make sure you visit the nearby Cathedral Caves, one of the World’s largest sea cave complexes.


To experience all that the Catlins has to offer, we recommend spending 2-3 days in this beautiful southern region. Take the Southern Scenic Route between Balclutha and Invercargill.

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