Click on a track title to view directions on google maps.
These hidden gems go from north to south
- Awakiki Bush Scenic Reserve - Awakiki Bush Scenic Reserve is an easy going 30 minute loop walk through farmland and you can explore an outstanding 300 year old example of lowland totara forest. To get there just turn off the Southern Scenic Route on the way from Balclutha to Owaka at Awakiki road, just past Telford Campus.
- Kaka Point Walking Track - At Kaka Point there is a 30 minute loop track through beautiful bush. Just 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. It is 40 minutes return with a totally 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 or 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 the beach with perhaps one of the most beautiful views you may ever see from a bench. The waves roll in over the rocks with lush rainforest and stunning Tahakopa beach creating a perfect picture of paradise, Catlins style. You can then carry on round the beach in a lovely loop. You can take a right hand turn in 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 wonderfully interactive trail through a variety of habitats. You will find it where the Papatowai highway meets Tahakopa Valley road. You can also do a 20km bike ride from Papatowai to Tahakopa in a loop round 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. You can then carry on to the forest and bird organisation owned reserve. Beautiful bush walks offer a real sense of tranquillity with a short nature trail, a one hour wetland walk and a longer trek into the forested hills following the tramlines that once carried the logs.