Catlins – Owaka


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Owaka is about thirty minutes from the Catlins and makes a good base of operations for those planning to stay in the area and explore the region for a few days. Not a bad idea as there is lot to see. At the Catlins Café, owned by Steven Clarke and his partner, Adrienne, the café provides a fantastic outdoor garden and has both vegetarian and gluten-free options. It also has a small, luxury B&B out the back.  Not that you don’t have a variety of accommodations option in the Catlins, including the Split Level Backpackers (now under new management with 4/`/2 TripAdvisor ranking). The new owner, South African, Jean Pierre, has recently moved to Owaka and has taken on a new venture, leaving the building trade behind him. He describes himself as a “people person, enjoying meeting new people and building new friendships”.  Split Level Backpackers feels more like someone’s relaxing home, as opposed to low budget accommodation.  It offers clean, warm and comfortable accommodation in Owaka. Visitors can choose from self-contained units for couples, backpacker rooms with bunk beds, twin and double rooms or book the whole complex. It’s located on the main road of Owaka, close to the local restaurants, supermarket, petrol station. Jean advises you will need at least two nights to three days to take in all the best sights of the Catlins. Or you can stay at the Catlins Motel – roomy comfortable and you get a free apricot muffin. Perhaps you want something a little bit more substantial. Your choices also include the Lumberjack’s Bar and Café which also is open during the day. Or you can opt for your own supplies at the Owaka Four Square. Other locations worth visiting in Owaka include Earth Lore, Catlins Country Store (which also includes Mia Bella) and the Catlins Soap Company which also hosts the bi-annual Catlin’s Music Festival in the fantastic grounds set up for weddings and functions. The Catlins Soap Company is located 5 km from the township of Owaka, on the Owaka Valley Road.  The Soap Company’s gift shop looks out into our five acre garden.  The Catlins Soap Company also hosts a lot of groups throughout the year, “Group Bookings are essential,” they advise. Closer to the town centre, the Owaka Museum provides an interesting insight into the history and fauna of the region – Or you can browse Auntie’s Attic run by Maryna Russell, originally from South Africa (and Jeans Aunt). Next door is a quirky toy museum or, just a little further away (10 minutes’ drive), you can try the chowder at Kaka Point.

Catlin’s Wild South, has heaps to explore but some spots truly worth seeing include Nugget Point (which Jean calls the “jewel of the Catlins”), the funky Gypsy Caravan , the nearby Lookout Point offers a pretty amazing view of the coast and the 100 million-year-old caves open where access is subject to tides . The caves are awesome but bring a lunch, as it’s a good spot to chill out. Another gem in the Catlins is Curio Bay, famed for its dolphin pods.  If you float, you will have more success with the dolphins coming up to check you out. And be mindful of the tide, which can change quite quickly. If you’re surfing Nick and Tomo at the Curio Surf School will take good care of you. Again, Curio Bay offers several accommodation options, including our favourites: the Dolphins, Lazy Dolphin Back Packers and the Slope Point Flash packers. Slope Point, in addition to being the most southern point in NZ is located near the Catli’ns petrified forest and the lighthouse where the film, “Two Little Boys”, was filmed and, amid the history of shipwrecks, you will find basking sea lions.

Catlins Accommodation:

Split Level Back Packers – Owaka www.thesplitlevel.co.nz Phone: +64 3 4158868 Mobile: +64 275944027

Catlins Cafe B&B – Owaka — apartment style 2 bedroom unit, complete with full kitchen and log burner, is awaiting you www.catlinscafe.co.nz 3 Main Rd Owaka 03 415  8040

Catlins Motel Owaka:  www.owakalodgemotel.co.nz/accommodation/ Bright modern units, and our relaxed country setting. Our units have either king, queen or single beds, and some have sofa/beds as well. $110 – $130 . All units have an ensuite or bathroom with shower, toilet etc. Our units are equipped with freeview TV and electric heating. Kitchens have all necessary cooking equipment, range elements, microwaves and come supplied with complimentary tea/coffee and milk. Continental breakfast and laundry facilities are available on request and we have free wireless internet for our guests’ use. Corner Ryley & Campbell Streets Owaka 9535 Phone +64 3 415 8728  Email owakalodgemotel@xtra.co.nz

Catlins Retreat – Accommodation in Owaka, the Catlins: catlinsretreat.co.nzCatlins Retreat provides comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation ideally situated for exploring the Catlins. Catlins Retreat offers: $45-$125.00. 2 bedrooms with both a queen and single bed plus ensuite –1 family bedroom with 3 single beds and a double bed with separate bathroom — Electric blankets for the cool months — spacious lounge and dining room for guests — Yunca fire with heat ducts to bedrooms makes the Retreat cosy and warm — Continental breakfast included —  Guest fridge — Selection of books, maps and local information –TV and DVD player –CD/radio/tape player –Selection of CDs, DVDs and tapes –Hairdryer in each bedroom –Washing machine and ironing facilities available on request –Linen supplied –Dinner available on request –Off street parking — Broadband internet available. 27 Main Rd, Owaka 9546 03-415 8300

Lazy Dolphin Lodge: Curio Bay, www.lazydolphinlodge.co.nzPrivate beach access – Panoramic views of Porpoise Bay and Curio Bay -Only minutes walk to petrified forest and penguin viewing – Watch seals basking in the sun – See dolphins in the surf – Great surfing – Small and friendly – Complimentary tea / coffee – Heated rooms – Freeview (Satellite) TV – Internet and WiFi available -Laundry facilities -Ten minutes to award winning Niagara Falls Cafe / Restaurant -Plenty of room available for surf boards, kayaks etc

Catlins Food Beverages & Supplies

Lumberjack: Family Restaurant available for functions http://www.lumberjackbarandcafe.co.nz/restaurant-catlins-coast.html

Catlins Cafe  – with Garden dining. www.catlinscafe.co.nz 3 Main Rd Owaka 03 415  8040 Welcome! A visit to one of our stores is a ‘must do’. We’re the trusted ‘Kiwi’ grocery retailer providing New Zealand communities with a service that is second to none.

Owaka Four Square –Owaka www.foursquare.co.nz/ 3 Ovenden St, Owaka 9546 Phone 03-415 8201 We can keep you stocked up with a range of groceries, fresh produce, meat, chilled beer and wines and a friendly smile! So whether you’re keeping it local, or on tour, we’re here to make it easy for you. 

Catlins – Owaka

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