Mohua Park   -   Catlins Scenic Tours


     phone : +64 3 415 8613                                 address : 744 Catlins valley Road RD 2 Tawanui                      email :




The Catlins has a variety of features which make it unique to the eastern coast of the South Island. It is rugged, remote and endowed with large tracts of native rainforest. It has abundant wildlife, is sparsely populated and is very scenic and unspoilt. The climate is temperate with a generous annual rainfall which nurtures the predominantly green landscape. River valleys, hills, farmland, and forests which reach to the sea dominate the landscape. Coastal cliffs, estuaries, beaches, sea caves, rock stacks and a petrified forest add to the seascape.

Wildlife and native plants and trees are a feature of the Catlins. Varieties of sea birds are prolific and you may see the forest-dwelling birds tui, bellbird, fantail, native pigeon and the rare mohua. You may also be fortunate enough to observe yellow-eyed penguins from the viewing hides provided. The Catlins is also home to the New Zealand sea lion, fur seal and the Hector’s dolphin.

The forests contain many native tree species especially tree ferns, rata, kahikatea, miro, kamahi, and silver beech.

  • Sunrise Tour (click to read more)

    Sunrise Tour - Duration: 3-4 hours

    Departure: 5.30am from Mohua Park or by arrangment at pick up point.

    Fitness level required: Easy/Moderate


    Guided Tour includes;
    1. Yellow eye penguin going out to sea
    2. Nugget Point lighthouse, various landmarks and points of interest
    3. NZ Fur Seals, sea birds
    Walking time: 20 mins each way to lighthouse, Walking time to viewing hide 15 mins each way
    Tour group size: Min 2 people, Max 8
    $150 pp - Adult
    $75 pp - Child (5-16yrs)
    Under 5 Free



  • Evening Tour


    Evening Tour 3 - 4 hours

    Departure time 3pm from Mohua Park, or by arrangement to another location or pick up point

    Fitness level required; Easy/Moderate


    Guided Tour includes

    '1. Nugget Point light house

    2. New Zealand Fur Seals

    3. Guide to point out landmarks and points of interest

    4. Yellow eye penguins returning from sea

    Walking time; 20 mins each way to lighthouse, Walking time to viewing hide 15 mins each way


    Tour group size: Min 2 people, max 8 people

    $150 pp Adult

    $75 pp Child (5-16yrs)

    under 5 Free


  • Beach, Bush & Waterfall Tour

    Beach, Bush & Waterfall Tour

    Duration: 5-6 hours

    Departure time: 9 am from Mohua Park, or by arrangement at pick up point

    Fitness level requried; Easy/Moderate


    Guided tour includes;

    1. Visit Cannibal, Purakaunui & Tautuku Bays

    2. May have encounters with Sea Lions

    3. Florence Hill look out

    4. Lake Wilkie or Tautuku board walk

    5. Purakaunui, McLean and Matai Falls

    6. Nugget Point Lighthouse


    Walking times are varied, max walking time 40 mins one way, most walks are 20 mins each way - gental walking with some inclines and some steps on tracks.


    Tour group: Min 2 people, Max 8 people

    $250 pp - Adults

    $125 pp - Child (5 - 16yrs)

    under 5 yrs Free

    Lunch is provided on this tour if staying at Mohua Park accommodation, otherwise a charge of $30 pp


  • In-Depth Nature & Natural History Tour

    Tour Duration: 8 Hours

    Guide with 20 years wildlife/outdoors activity experience


    1. Yellow eye penguins

    2. Nugget point lighthouse

    3. New Zealand fur seals

    4. Sea birds

    5. Wading birds

    6. BeechfForest

    7. Native bush birds

    8. Catlins River Valley walk, a chance to see NZ native birds, such as the rare Mohua (yellowhead), Tui's, NZ Rifleman.

    This tour is for people with a passion for spotting NZ's many native, exotic and wading birds, and for those with a interest in NZ natural history, flora and fauna. 


    A wholesome country style breakfast, and a light lunch is provided free as part of this tour, when staying at Mohua Park.


    A charge will apply to breakfast & lunch otherwise.

    $30 pp


     Tour Cost: $350 pp Adult

                         $200 pp Child (5 - 16yrs)

  • Note:Important-items-to-bring-on-all-tours

     1. Warm & waterproof clothing, layers are a great option, light thermals and jackets

     2. Good comfortable walking footwear

     3. Hiking boots are recommended for In-depth nature tour

     4. Walking poles if you require them

     5. Sun hat & sun screen

     6. Insect repellent

     7. Water bottles & snacks

     8. Carry personal medication

     9. Parent of infants should bring a child backpack to carry them safely


    Please advise at the time of booking if you have any medical conditions or food allergies or allergies in general we should be aware of.



  • Other

    For those of you who would like to self drive, see below some fantastic places to visit while your in the Caltins

  • Catlins River Valley

    The Catlins River Track runs from ‘The Wisp’ to the Tawanui Camp Ground (DOC). The entire track is 5 hours one way, or can be broken up into three smaller segments. The Wisp to Wallis Stream – 1 hour, Wallis Stream to Frank’s Creek – 1.5 hours, and Frank’s Creek to Tawanui – 2.5 hours. Along the track you will pass through attractive silver beech forest, cross swing bridges and possibly spot the endangered mohua, or yellowhead bird. The track offers excellent opportunities for trout fishing.

  • Coastal Route – Cannibal Bay to Surat Bay

    This walk takes you along the beach atCannibal Bay to False Islet where you can climb to the top of the cliffs for the spectacular view, then drop down to Surat Bay. Return through the sand hills where the remains of a forest and moa hunters’ camp may be seen. These beaches are popular resting spots for Hooker’s sea lions.

  • Jack’s Blowhole

    Jack’s Blowhole is in Tunnel Rocks Scenic Reserve and is a large hole 55 metres deep, 200 metres from the sea.

  • Matai Falls

    The walk to the falls is through regenerating podocarp/broadleaf forest. A wooden platform built into the bed of the stream provides a convenient place to view the 10m high falls. About 50m upstream the stream divides and drops over Horseshoe Falls which are worth the steep 5 minute climb to view them when the river is running high.

  • Shanks’ Bush Nature Trail

    A 20 minute self-guided walk through a variety of habitats in a private reserve. Located in Papatowai at the junction of Chaslands Highway and Tahakopa Valley Road.

  • Old Coach Road

    Scenic Route. Horse and coach teams once forded the river below the present bridge and you will follow the same route to the beach. The silver beech trees in this forest are the southern-most stand of this species. Near the mouth of the river, where the totara are growing, is the site of early Maori occupation and this area has been the centre of much archaeological interest in the past.


  • Picnic Point

    This walk is suitable for all age groups and provides plenty of variety. It is a 20 minute walk each way with a possible extension of another 20 minutes each way to King’s Rock (signposted from junction). The start of the walk from the bush side is signposted from the Papatowai township. You can return via the sandy shore. The layering of the rock structure at Picnic Point provides an excellent view of the geological structure of the region. The extension towards King’s Rock offers bush scenery and views of seascapes.

  • Lake Wilkie

    When the rata is in flower around the viewing area, there can be a magnificent feast of colour as well as birdsong as tui and bellbirds enjoy the nectar.

  • Estuary Boardwalk

    This peaceful walk meanders out onto the estuary where you may see fernbirds, and to the edge of the mudflat habitat of crabs, snails and wading birds.

  • Traill’s Tractor

    The tractor, a Fordson farm tractor converted for use on wooden rails, was the invention of Frank Traill who took out a patent for it in 1924.

  • Cathedral Caves

    Open Nov-May, cutting back into cliffs right on the beach, the huge, arched Cathedral Caves are only accessible for two hours either side of low tide even then they can be closed at short notice if the conditions are deemed too dangerous. If you’re happy to wade, you can walk in one entrance and out the other. 15-minute forest walk down to the beach and a further 25 minutes to the caves


  • McLean Falls

    This is a forest walk to what some say is the most striking of the Catlins’ waterfalls.

One of our most popular tours is to see the rare Yellow Eyed Penguin


Watch the video


P: +64 3 415 8613


A: 744 Catlins Valley Rd RD2 Owaka