Questions for anyone who's visited the Catlins, NZ

Oct 30th, 2007, 08:34 PM
  #1  
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Questions for anyone who's visited the Catlins, NZ

I'm currently researching the Catlins for a possible return trip to NZ in March 2008.

We've been through the area before, but have never stayed overnight. We're considering a three night stay this time around, but I'm having trouble finding detailed information, even on the DOC site.

Would appreciate any insight regarding places to stay, dining options, things to see and do, and in particular, walks and tramps in the area.
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Oct 31st, 2007, 12:24 AM
  #2  
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Further research has turned up a good website...

www.catlins.org.nz

..and the realization that searching under Catlins Forest Park helps quite a bit.

Still open to suggestions though.


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Oct 31st, 2007, 12:39 AM
  #3  
 
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Nugget Lodge

http://www.nuggetlodge.co.nz/accommodation.html
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Oct 31st, 2007, 12:54 AM
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Melnq8, all we did was drive through, on our way between Dunedin and Invercargill, enroute to Te Anau...but even from the car we noticed we could hear a lot of birdsong in the Catlins area. I think Woody spent some time in this area, if you can hunt him up.

Good luck! I'll look forward to hearing all about it!
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Oct 31st, 2007, 03:41 AM
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Thanks mlgb for the link and topping Melissa's thread - have added the info to my file. BTW I've found loads of great info on the www.catlins.org.nz site, and strongly suggest that anyone interested in the Catlins take a look.
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Oct 31st, 2007, 06:15 AM
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Jed
 
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We had a bad experience with Catlins Wildlife Trackers.
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Oct 31st, 2007, 07:46 AM
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Hello Melnq8:

Woodie here. My wife and I spent three days in the Catlins.

Great.

We stayed at Fergus/Mary Sutherland's place. It is a few cottages fully equiped. The nearby town is called Papatowai and is nearly half way through the Catlins drive.

Find then at www.catlins-ecotours.co.nz

Our cottage was fantastic. As comfortable as any very modern home.

We were literally in the middle of no where so it was exceptionally quiet which we enjoyed very much.

We arrived quite early on Jnuary 29 and stayed two nights, leaving on the 31st.

Our plan was to arrive early in the day, see what was of interest to us along our way in, then visit the nearby places on the next day reserving the third day on our way out to see the rest.

We had ample time to enjoy a relaxing visit for these days. However, we are not into long hikes so you may want more time.

We were told that restaurants were few and far between in the Catlins and that is exactly what we found. Our accommodation had all the kitchen facilities we could want so meals were no problem for us. We brought some provision with us.

When we arrived to Christchurch for our New Zealand travel, we purchased a cheap cooler while we were in NZ. We discared the cooler in Picton when we left the south island for the north. We were in the north island for a short period so it worked out well for us. The cooler [chilly bin] was used durng all the south island tour.

My earlier research indicated a non sealed [paved] area part way so I checked with Apex [our rental co.] and they said it was okay to drive there. In fact, the road was paved all the way except for side trails which were not. Driving was easy, even for me!

I highly recommend the Sutheland's place but I do suggest that you book early if you want it. We were very satisfied there and am glad to recommend them.

I hope this is of help to you.

Woodie
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Oct 31st, 2007, 08:06 AM
  #8  
Jed
 
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Our experience with Mary was the lowlight of our trip. She had us go to a small house on a hill, where she said there were 2 rooms. So when we and another couple got there, she put us in a nice room, and the other couple in an inside 'library' which had no real beds and had a musty smell. After we came, another younger couple came, and she put them in the other reasonable room.

I was hopping mad, and we left after one night instead of staying the two we had reserved.
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Oct 31st, 2007, 05:39 PM
  #9  
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Thanks for the info Woodie.

Jed -

Would you mind giving some details about your bad Catlins Wildlife Trackers experience? Also, was this in any way related to your accomodation or is this a separate business?

I've found many promising cottages in the area. More than I expected, actually.

Appreciate all the comments thus far.
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Nov 1st, 2007, 10:12 AM
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This is more towards the northern end of the Caitlins area but definitely recommended for lodging http://www.cardnosaccommodation.co.nz/
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Nov 1st, 2007, 10:29 AM
  #11  
Jed
 
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Mel - This is from my report from 2005:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34602230

"Friends had said that they had a wonderful experience at Catlins Wildlife Trackers near Papatowei, so we had booked 2 rooms for 2 nights. We drove 2 1/2 hr on the Southern Scenic Route to the Mohai Lodge, one of a few lodges which Mary and Fergus Sutherland owned. Contrary to official SSR pronouncement, it was almost, but not completely, paved.

The Mohai Lodge was listed as having 2 bedrooms and a library with 2 divans. The 2 bedrooms were indeed lovely, but to our distress, M&F were given the library room, which was small, musty, with awful beds, no outside windows, or place to unpack. The second bedroom was given to a young couple who came after us. When I protested and said that it was unacceptable, Mary said that her other rooms were full. I was ready to leave right then, but we decided to stay for 1 night because we really wanted to do the program."

Is this what you were asking?
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Nov 1st, 2007, 04:46 PM
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Jed -

Yep, that's what I was asking. Thanks.
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Nov 1st, 2007, 07:21 PM
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Considering cottages in Owaka or Fortrose - any thoughts on which might be a better location, or does it really matter?
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Nov 5th, 2007, 04:07 PM
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Have decided on Fortrose - with three nights, we should have sufficient time to see the sights of the Catlins and get in some nice hikes.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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