My family and I have recently been on a 9-day holiday to New Zealand’s South Island and it was stunning. Today I will share with you my Catlins – New Zealand Guide in the hope that you can find it useful to organise your own road trip.
We passed through the Catlins on the way to Gore, after spending a night in Oamaru. We decided to sleep in Gore because we had to get closer to Manapouri from where we had to take the early morning excursion for Doubtful Sound.
The Catlins features a scenic coastal landscape and dense temperate rainforest, both of which harbour many endangered species of birds, most notably the rare yellow-eyed penguin. The coast attracts numerous marine mammals, among them seals and sea lions.
The rugged, scenic coastline of the Catlins features sandy beaches, blowholes, a petrified forest at Curio Bay, and the Cathedral Caves, which visitors can reach only at low tide. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it in time to enter the caves!
However, we did get to see the beautiful Purakaunui Falls.
And the Nugget Point Lighthouse which stands above the water at the end of Nugget Point, casting its light across a series of eroded stacks called the “nuggets”, which give the point its name.
We had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, which is famous for its steaks.
The steaks were indeed pretty good.
And so was the lamb rack.
The girls had the kids’ steaks with fries and they were quite happy with their food too.
The dessert was nice as well. My husband and I had Crème Brûlée.
And the kids had ice cream.
I can definitely recommend this place for a nice dinner.
We stayed at the Heartland Hotel Croydon in Gore.
We had a family room with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, which was big enough for the 4 of us.
These rooms are motel-like and very very old. In fact, even the bed covers looked dirty. To tell you the truth, this was one of the worst and most run-down places I have ever stayed at in my entire life. I am not joking.
The contrast between the terrible room and the tasty dinner earned this place the nickname of “Dr. Jakyll and Mr. Hyde”.
They also have superior rooms, and they may be better than the room we had. However, I can’t really recommend the Heartland Hotel Croydon for your stay in Gore! Go there for dinner, and sleep somewhere else!
The Catlins area is beautiful. Stay a little longer if you can, so that you can have the chance to visit places that require specific timings for the tides (like the Cathedral Caves).
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