Known for its friendly locals, enchanting waterfalls and gold mining heritage, the Clutha region offers visitors a quintessentially Kiwi experience.
Clutha lies on the east coast of the South Island and is home to clear, deep rivers and undisturbed beaches. Relaxed farming communities dot the countryside with New Zealand’s largest river, named after Clutha itself, weaving an emerald ribbon through the region.
The enchanting Catlins, a world of lush forest and cascading waterfalls, is easily accessed on foot. Perfect for those in search of wild, untouched places, the Catlins is the jewel of the Clutha region and offers a multitude of walking tracks by which to explore. Journey to Nugget Point and you’ll see fur seals, Hooker’s sea lions, sea elephants and rare penguins in the wild. While here, walk the track to the huge lighthouse. Perched on the edge of a cliff high above the coast, it makes for a beautiful photo – especially at sunset. Combine this with a walk through a petrified forest that’s over 160 million years old, and your visit becomes a unique experience you’ll never forget.
Don’t miss the charming coastal town of Kaka Point as well as trying your hand at gold panning in Lawrence, a historical mining town. The Clutha Gold Trail, an easy 2-day cycling experience, threads its way through the region and showcases early Maori and gold mining heritage. Opportunities for fishing, hiking and mountain biking abound.
A great option when visiting this region by car is driving the Southern Scenic Route. Originating in Dunedin and finishing in Queenstown, this coastal drive features stunning scenery while winding its way through the most fascinating parts of the Clutha region.