Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Attractions of Papatowai

From Hilltop it is only a short walk or drive to Papatowai and the beach, where there are a variety of short walking tracks including the Picnic Point track at the end of the Papatowai beach, which joins onto the Kings Rock track. Across the Tahakopa River, the Old Coach track past the Moa hunter camp leads to Tahakopa Bay.

The Shanks Bush Reserve interpretation area is close by at the Tahakopa Valley Road intersection. The local Papatowai store (with limited winter opening hours) offers groceries, wine and beer, and a self-operated discount fuel outlet. A must-see is the acclaimed Lost Gypsy Gallery featuring nature-inspired handmade gizmos and gadgets. The drive south along the Southern Scenic Route passes through Papatowai; the much photographed Florence Hill panorama of Tautuku beach and peninsula, Lake Wilkie, the Tautuku Estuary boardwalk; the historic Traills Tractor walk; the Cathedral Caves; and McLean Falls, before winding down through the native forest to Niagara, Waikawa and the Curio Bay petrified forest. Do bring your binoculars, and allow time for stops. Further up Tahakopa Valley Road is the Truby King walk to an historic bridge.

The route north from Hilltop towards Owaka crosses the Tahakopa and Maclennan rivers, and passes close to Matai and Purakanui Falls, with many side routes available to such features as the Jacks Bay Blowhole on the coast or the Catlins River walk inland. Other local activities include watching the penguins, seals, and sea lions, as well as surfing, tramping cycling and fishing,whitebaiting, and gathering paua.

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77 Tahakopa Valley Rd
Papatowai    Catlins NZ
Tel. + 64 3 415 8028
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