If how far away from Auckland a place is qualifies it as being off the beaten track, then Stewart Island the Catlins Coast will be at the top of that list. For Aucklanders and all Kiwis, Rakiura / Stewart Island and the Catlins Coast is a dream destination and rightly so!
What we love about Stewart Island and The Catlins
Rakiura / Stewart Island - Ulva Island & Patterson Inlet. Rakiura has an area of 1764 square kilometres but only 20 km of paved roads, so by definition most of the tracks on the island are clearly not “beaten”. You really feel this when you see the Kākā parrots on your verandah in the morning or tick off every native forest bird you’ve ever heard of in a short half day visit to Ulva Island. Stewart Island is that corner of the country where they leave their doors unlocked and car keys sitting in the ignition on the main street!
The Catlins Coast - The coastal route from Invercargill to Dunedin is easily accessible and has really good roads nowadays, but is still under the radar for many Kiwi travellers. Our favourite spots which really capture the remote and quirky nature of life in the Catlins are the Lost Gypsy Curios in Papatowai and the iconic Nugget Point Lighthouse. Another favourite is the petrified forest and penguin spotting hideaways at Curio Bay. You know you’re off the beaten track when you see huge Sea Lions on the beach, as plenty of our guests have over the years in the Catlins.
Visiting Stewart Island and the Catlins with MoaTours
Our Southern Odyssey - Stewart Island & the Catlins 7 day tour spends two nights on Stewart Island plus one night in the Catlins for a real deep dive into this fascinating and remote corner of the country.