Purakaunui Bay – Catlins

See the highest cliffs in the Catlins and explore the sheltered beach and rocky shore of Purakaunui Bay.

One of our favourite camping spots in the Catlins is Purakaunui Bay.  A beautiful DOC campsite on a sandy beach flanked either side by a rocky headland is well worth a visit.

The road is gravel and quite narrow in places but we have taken our reasonably large caravan down there numerous times, just take your time. It’s quite a large camp, there is plenty of space but the best spots are near the toilets where you can get a good view of the Bay. Toilets, water and skips for rubbish are provided and last time we were there it was $6.0 per person per night. A lot of small vehicles arrive at the camp in the early evening and usually leave the next morning – a good stop over while visiting all the other attractions in the Catlins.

Getting there:

Turn off SH1 at Balcutha. Drive south past Owaka until Ratanui turnoff. Follow Purakaunui Falls Rd to Long Point Rd, then follow Purakaunui Bay Rd to end. Narrow and gravel road.  This a great base to explore the Catlins and is very close to the iconic Purakaunui Falls and other beautiful Catlins attractions.

See my other posts for more amazing places to see in the Catlins region.

Purakaunui Bay from the air – the main camping area is on the right of the road but there are  site for tents up the hill on the left. This a beautiful beach for walking and dogs are allowed under control.




 New Zealand Southern Rata

Rata and Pohutukawa are known as New Zealand’s native Christmas trees because of the bright red blooms that decorate them during the Christmas and summer season.

DSC_2064Sea lions and fur seals are a common sight here and in other areas of the Catlins

This photo was taken from a reasonable distance, be careful they are surprisingly fast.






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