Click on a track title to view directions on Google Maps.
These hidden gems go from north to south in The Catlins
- Awakiki Bush Scenic Reserve - Awakiki Bush Scenic Reserve is an easy 30 minute loop walk through farmland and explore an outstanding 300 year old example of lowland totara forest. To get to Awakiki, turn off the Southern Scenic Route on the way from Balclutha to Owaka at Awakiki Road, located just past Telford Campus.
- Kaka Point Walking Track - At Kaka Point there is a 30 minute loop track through beautiful bush. Go to the top of Marine Terrace.
- Pounawea Bush and Nature Walk - The Pounawea bush and nature walk starts by the motorcamp. You can do a 15 minute round trip or a longer 40 minute return walk through virgin podocarp forest and saltmarsh. It is a rare chance to see such intact vegetation from forest to estuary shore.
- Catlins Tidal Lake - You can bike around the Catlins tidal lake just south of Owaka with a 22km track on both sealed and gravel roads.
- Old Coach Track - Park just past the bridge over the Papatowai Estuary and stroll through the podocarp forest to Tahakopa Beach. The walk takes 40 minutes return with a tropical feel as you emerge from the bush on to the sand. You can carry on up past the dunes to the coastal cliffs adding an extra hour on to the walk. Alternatively, you can re-enter the bush before the cliffs and follow the Tahakopa Bay Loop Track back to the car park.
- Picnic Point - Picnic Point in Papatowai is a 40 minute walk which sweeps through the bush coming out on to the beach with perhaps one of the most beautiful views you may ever see. The waves roll in over the rocks with lush rainforest and the stunning Tahakopa Beach creating a perfect picture of paradise. You can continue around the beach in a lovely loop, or take a right hand turn into the bush and follow the longer and tougher King’s Rock walk, which is signposted.
- Shank's Bush Nature Trail - Shank’s Bush Nature Trail is perfect for the little ones with a 20 minute self-guided interactive trail through a variety of habitats. You will find it where the Papatowai Highway meets Tahakopa Valley Road. You have the option to do a 20km bike ride from Papatowai to Tahakopa in a loop around the river.
- Trail's Tractor & Lenz Reserve - Just by the bridge past Tautuku you will see the sign. There is a short walk to some early bush tram machinery which has been set up on the site of an old sawmill. Carry on to the Forest and Bird owned reserve. Beautiful bush walks offer a real sense of tranquility with a short nature trail, a one hour wetland walk or a longer trek into the forested hills following the tramlines that once carried the logs.