Feel like a romantic getaway or a family adventure?

Whether you're seeking a romantic getaway or a memorable family adventure, one stopover well worth visiting is located in the geographical heart of the Catlins Coastal Conservation Park.

An easy day's drive for those travelling on the Southern Scenic Route from Queenstown, Te Anau, Invercargill or Dunedin is the Whistling Frog Cafe & Bar and McLeans Falls Accommodation Resort.

Experience the amazing scenic diversity of the Catlins podocarp coastal rainforest, with exquisite beaches and waterfalls. Be pampered with excellent food, and modern eco-friendly camping and accommodation facilities in a dog-friendly resort, now in its fifth season.

There is no traffic noise or street lights, just the moreporks, whistling frogs and amazing dawn bellbird chorus to wake you gently the next morning. View the Milky Way, free from ambient light, a star-filled night you will never forget.

From the base camp you will find many attractions within minutes of the resort, including the magnificent McLean Falls, the colossal Cathedral Caves and serene Lake Wilkie.

Often two nights are needed to see this portion of the Catlins properly. The Cathedral Caves are tidal dependent - you can only visit them at low tide, so if you can, plan an extra night. You must also see the unique bush glow-worms.

Relax, catch up on sleep and refuel with a great all-day dining experience and coffee service.

‘‘People tell us this is the best sleep they have had on their entire trip,'' says owner-operator Paul Bridson.


The Whistling Frog Cafe & Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and features a choice of local dishes with excellent dessert.

The chefs tempt all tastes with homemade baking, soups, chowders, breads, snacks and entrees, including farm-raised lamb and beef, local seafood and excellent vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Sample the organic local cheeseboard and try the giant Catlins date scones with whipped cream, jam and butter.

Evening meals are relaxing and sunsets spectacular from the sundeck.

Enjoy beers with a difference. Invercargill-brewed beers include one custom-made with Kamahi bush honey, from the resort's own property, called ‘‘Wasp,'' a honey pilsner. There is also an excellent selection of New Zealand wines that won't break the budget, well represented by the bottle or glass.

The Catlins has a remarkable array of ‘‘must-dos'' so download the resort's acclaimed free Catlins self-guide map, so that you won't miss a thing!