TRIP SUMMARY
The Catlins is paradise for photographers. It has incredible waterfalls, the petrified forests, lighthouses perched on dramatic cliffs and some of the best astrophotography locations. Spend 4 days exploring some of Meghan Maloney's favourite spots, while staying in a couple's retreat, complete with an outdoor hot tub.
From: $1,407 AUD
From
Meghan
The Catlin's is one of my favourite locations in all of New Zealand. There are so many options! From astrophotography to jungles and some of the best waterfalls in the South Island. Every time I visit, I find something new to photograph.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1
Day 1: Dunedin to The Catlins
Pick up your car from Dunedin before making your way to the heart of the Catlins. Beresford Heights Eco Lodge is an idyllic couples retreat, that caters to adventurers looking for a romantic weekend away.
Activities
Car hire
3-day standard car hire from Dunedin.
Beresford Heights Lodge - 3 Nights
Located at the top of Table Hill, 400m above sea level in the heart of The Catlins, Beresford Heights offers boutique accommodation with breath-taking views. This romantic retreat is an off the grid get-away for couples craving a luxurious peaceful escape from their busy lifestyles, in a private magical hideaway. Spend your day exploring the Catlins, before relaxing in the outdoor hot tub.
Day 2
Day 2: The Catlins
Start your day early and give yourself plenty of time to setup for sunrise at the iconic Nugget Point Lighthouse. On the right day the sky looks like it catches fire as the sun rises, it makes for an incredible photo. The rest of the day you'll have plenty of time to explore some of Meghan's favourite waterfalls in the South Island.
Activities
Do
Nugget Point lighthouse
The sunrise at Nugget Point lighthouse is one of Meghan's favourite sunrise experiences ever especially as it was in such an epic coastal location - the entire sky caught fire! Visit at the right time of year and you'll also have the opportunity to capture the Milky Way rising above the lighthouse and if you're even luckier a chance to see the Southern Lights as well (Aurora Australis).
Matai Falls
The Catlins is known for its waterfalls and you're certainly spoilt for choice with so many to choose from! Matai Falls is a short walk through native forest and can be done on the same day as visiting Purakaunui Falls.
Purakaunui Falls
Purukaunui Falls is one of the loveliest waterfalls to photograph in New Zealand, with a photogenic three tier flow in a mossy forest setting. If you visit when it's raining like I did, the flow will be even more impressive to capture! It's only a short 15 minute walk from the road to the viewing point.
Maclean Falls
Listen to the native birds as you walk through beautiful Southland bush to a spectacular 22 metre cascade waterfall surrounded on both sides by dark-green mossy rocks. A must see waterfall in New Zealand!
Day 3
Day 3: The Catlins
If you're up for it, Meghan always recommends sunrise at Nugget Point lighthouse. Every day is so different! Then have a quick breakfast before enjoying a sea kayak and wildlife tour along the coastline, viewing the rocky islets that give you a sense of scale only achievable by kayak. In the afternoon you'll have time to explore the petrified forests before another relaxing night in the hot tub.
Activities
Do
Nuggets Wildlife Kayak Tour
Set a leisurely course along the coastline, viewing the rocky islets that give you a sense of scale only achievable by kayak. Your experienced guide will seek out the rare and endangered wildlife that inhabit this area on your journey to the wave eroded rocks.
Petrified Forest - Curio Bay
Curio Bay is of international significance for its Petrified Forest dating back to the Jurassic period. The tree fossils you see here, similar to Kauri and Matai, are approximately 170 million years old. The forest was alive when New Zealand was part of Gondwanaland.
Sunrise at Nugget Point lighthouse
The sunrise at Nugget Point lighthouse is one of Meghan's favourite sunrise experiences ever especially as it was in such an epic coastal location - the entire sky caught fire! Visit at the right time of year and you'll also have the opportunity to capture the Milky Way rising above the lighthouse and if you're even luckier a chance to see the Southern Lights as well (Aurora Australis).
Day 4
Day 4: The Catlins to Dunedin
Before dropping the hire car back in Dunedin you'll have time to explore Tunnel and St Clair beaches. This stretch of the coastline is rugged and has some amazing spots to get some last minute photos.
Activities
Do
Tunnel Beach
Meghan was totally wowed by the unique landscapes of Tunnel Beach with cliffs rising dramatically above the sea and a secret tunnel you can take down to the beach. There are so many cool and different compositions to create at Tunnel Beach, especially on a moody, dramatic day. You'll easily find yourself losing an hour or two here!
STORYTELLER

Meghan Maloney

About Meghan
STORYTELLER

About Meghan

A landscape and travel photographer from New Zealand’s North Island, Meghan Maloney gets adventure. Seeking out New Zealand’s most beautiful and underrated locations, Meghan is devoted to capturing its rich beauty through the trusted lens of her camera. Her feel for the community and sharing New Zealand with the rest of the world allows our travellers to experience the real New Zealand. With Meghan’s expert knowledge, a trip to New Zealand will take your breath away as you create lasting memories. She is also a waterfall enthusiast — need we say more?

FAQ's

Is it for me?
This trip is designed for travellers who love adventure, mixed in with a bit of luxury. It's also perfect for couples looking to escape the city for a long weekend away.
What's included?
- 3 Nights at Beresford Height Lodge
- 4 days car hire (from Dunedin)
- Nuggets Wildlife Kayak Trail tour
Can I personalise this trip?
You sure can! Speak to our friendly team today and we will be more than happy to create a tailor-made itinerary for you, based on your travel wishes and group size.

The Airguides Way

Responsible travel is our passion
Responsible travel is at the core of everything we do
We focus on those destinations 'less travelled' in Oceania
We work with local and Indigenous tourism operators where possible
Designed by storytellers
We search the world to find the most inspiring travel storytellers
Our trips are designed by photographers, filmmakers and chefs
Authentic and exclusive, you won't find our packages anywhere else
Luxury meets adventure
Peace of mind travel — we take care of everything for you
We handpick all experiences to make sure you get the very best
Our trips include premium accommodation, unforgettable experiences and transport you can trust
2Peace of mind travel
From the planning stage to the trip, our team is here 24/7 whenever you need us
We take care of all logistics, so you can focus on the fun
Travel at your own pace with the comfort of knowing we have got your back
Trips of a lifetime
We personalise the trip to match your wildest travel dreams
Balancing detailed itineraries with the freedom to truly discover destinations
Our promise? A once in a lifetime adventure
Responsible travel is at the core of everything we do
We focus on those destinations 'less travelled' in Oceania
We work with local and Indigenous tourism operators where possible
We search the world to find the most inspiring travel storytellers
Our trips are designed by photographers, filmmakers and chefs
Authentic and exclusive, you won't find our packages anywhere else
Peace of mind travel — we take care of everything for you
We handpick all experiences to make sure you get the very best
Our trips include premium accommodation, unforgettable experiences and transport you can trust
From the planning stage to the trip, our team is here 24/7 whenever you need us
We take care of all logistics, so you can focus on the fun
Travel at your own pace with the comfort of knowing we have got your back
We personalise the trip to match your wildest travel dreams
Balancing detailed itineraries with the freedom to truly discover destinations
Our promise? A once in a lifetime adventure

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