As Mark Twain said: “TWENTY years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” This special region of southern New Zealand, known as The Catlins offers such an opportunity. The Catlins, with their rich maritime history, “Roaring Forties” trade winds, wild coastlines and pristine wilderness, makes an ideal detour along the magical highway, identified on maps, as The Southern Scenic Route. This recently paved, newly discovered scenic highway, links Queenstown to Dunedin and Invercargill. Well worth the slight detour, The Catlins, will provide the variety you crave. A veritable feast of the best New Zealand has to offer with a plethora of jaw-dropping coastlines, rare Antarctic wildlife, ancient podocarp forests, both living and fossilized, stunning waterfalls and spectacularly carved ocean sea caves. The Cathedral Caves in particular, are a ‘must see’ and being located in the geographical heart of the Catlins, make this area a logical overnight stopover, as they are tidal dependant. The Catlins takes the definition of variety and natural wonders to new heights. You can indulge your passion for photography, nature walks, wild coastlines or seek solitude. You will explore trails, surf in secret coves, watch rare yellow-eyed penguins as they make landfall to feed their young or swim with the friendly Hector’s Dolphins, the smallest and rarest dolphins in the world. Not far from the craziness of the marquee tourist attractions of Queenstown, via the Southern Scenic Route you will experience a New Zealand that dates back to Gondwanaland and the time that the giant ‘moas’ and other native species ruled the forests. The spectacular beauty of the Catlins portion of the Southern Scenic Route allows you to feel that you are truly a world apart. Download our free app and take a tour.