10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins© Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins

10 Best Family Accommodations in The Catlins šŸ‘Ŗ [2024]

© Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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Where to Find Family-Friendly Accommodation in The Catlins

If you’re looking for a place for the tribe to stay in The Catlins then you probably already know all of the amazing things to do in The Catling with kids! The waterfalls, penguins, seals and sea lions are scattered far and wide along the rugged coast, so it’s a good idea to establish a base in The Catlins. That way, you have somewhere to relax at the end of a fun-filled day. Whether you prefer an affordable motel unit, a cheap-and-cheerful cabin in a holiday park or your own space in a holiday home, there’s something for everyone in The Catlins. Choose the right stay for your group with this list of the best family accommodations in The Catlins.

For more trip-planning advice, check out The Guide to The Catlins for Families.

1. Nugget View Kaka Point Motels (Kaka Point)

Perched on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean and beach, accessed just a five-minute walk away, Nugget View Kaka Point Motels is one of The Catlins’ motels with the best views. Each of the studios and two-bedroom apartments has its own unique layout and design but are all modernly appointed. Units at least have a kitchenette if not a full kitchen and soak in the sun through the large double-glazed glass doors leading out onto a shared elevated deck. Most units are pretty compact, but the mobility units do offer a bit more space. Note that there are cots and high-chairs available, as well as complimentary use of surfboards and bodyboards!

Check Nugget View Kaka Point Motels out:

10 Best Family Accommodations in The Catlins šŸ‘Ŗ [2023]© Nugget View Kaka Point Motels

2. Catlins Area Motel (Owaka)

Located in Owaka, which is central to many of the attractions that we feature in the 10 Things to Do in The Catlins with Kids, Catlins Area Motel offers a selection of affordable apartments surrounding a picturesque garden. Every apartment fits up to four guests across a double bed, a single bed and a sofa bed and includes all of the essentials families tend to need. We’re talking about a spacious kitchen with a stovetop, a large bathroom with a shower, laundry facilities and more. There’s also free WiFi should you need more ways to keep the kids entertained.

Check Catlins Area Motel out:

10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins© Catlins Area Motel

3. The Whistling Frog Resort (Chaslands)

A holiday park on the way to McLean Falls and Cathedral Caves, The Whistling Frog Resort offers families plenty of accommodation options, as well as dining. Stay in one of the self-contained one-bedroom or two-bedroom cottages with private kitchen facilities or make use of the powered sites with communal facilities if you’re travelling by campervan. Either way, you’ll probably want to treat the family to lunch or dinner at the on-site restaurant, which serves all sorts of family favourites, from cafe treats to wood-fired pizzas. For more places to camp, if needed, head to our guide toĀ Camping in the Catlins.

Check The Whistling Frog Resort out:

10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins© The Whistling Frog Resort

4. Kaka Point Views Apartment (Kaka Point)

For families seeking their own space, check out the holiday home of Kaka Point Views Apartment (1). Soaking in the views of the beaches out to Nugget Point, this two-bedroom apartment is ideal for families wanting to relax in their own space. You have a fully-equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, plenty of room in the open-plan living area for the kids to play, and a terrace to soak in more of those breathtaking views.

Check Kaka Point Views Apartment out:

10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins© Kaka Point Views Apartment

5. Catlins Gateway Motel (Owaka)

Another fabulous motel in Owaka, the Catlins Gateway Motel offers just eight self-contained ground-floor units in a peaceful setting. Two of the units are one-bedroom suitable for families, featuring a queen-sized bed in the open-plan lounge and kitchen area and three single beds in a separate bedroom. The well-appointed units have electric heating, free WiFi, access to laundry facilities, and, of course, a bathroom.

Check Catlins Gateway Motel out:

10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins© Catlins Gateway Motel

6. Owaka Lodge Motel (Owaka)

Need another motel option in Owaka? How about the relaxed country setting of Owaka Lodge Motel, offering families a choice of space in the timber-lined one-bedroom unit or more affordability in the studio with a sofa bed? Either way, you’ll have access to full private kitchen facilities, an ensuite and the usual motel features. For more motel options, check out the 10 Best Motels in The Catlins.

Check Owaka Lodge Motel out:

10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins© Owaka Lodge Motel

7. Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park (Newhaven)

Stay mere moments away from the beach of Surat Bay at the Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park where you can see sea lions basking in the sun. You might also want to bask in the sun, either from your self-contained unit, basic cabin’s deck or camping site. The colourful self-contained units have essential facilities at your fingertips, like a bathroom and kitchenette, while those staying in the cabins or camping can make use of the communal amenities building with a kitchen and bathrooms with coin-operated (NZ$2) showers. There’s plenty of space for kids to roam, as well as a giant garden chess set, and free DVD hire. See more like this in the 12 Best Budget Accommodations in The Catlins.

Check Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park out:

10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins© Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park

8. Surat Bay Lodge (Newhaven)

A friendly backpacker hostel on the waterfront of Surat Bay, Surat Bay Lodge offers family rooms with a sea view. Your family room has a queen and a bunk bed in a vibrant yet well-appointed unit. Shared facilities include a lounge and dining area, bathrooms, a kitchen with tea, coffee and hot chocolate, a barbecue area and a beach-facing garden. The hostel offers binoculars for wildlife viewing, while the DVD, games and book exchange are more ways to keep entertained during your stay. For more hostel-style stays, check out theĀ 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in The Catlins.

Check Surat Bay Lodge out:

10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins© Surat Bay Lodge

9. Waikawa House (Waikawa)

For one or two families travelling together, Waikawa House is a holiday home with plenty of space. Located on the way to Curio Bay and Porpoise Bay, the three-bedroom holiday home is well-positioned to explore several of The Catlins attractions. Enjoy a modern kitchen, laundry machines, extensive gardens, games, books and DVDs all included in your stay. The sleeping arrangements consist of two queen beds, a bunk bed and a double sofa bed.

Check Waikawa House out:

10 Best Family Accommodation in The Catlins© Waikawa House

10. Highway Lodge Motel (Balclutha)

In the gateway to The Catlins, this motel in Balclutha provides an affordable stay for families. Highway Lodge Motel is your classic Kiwi motel with classic fixings and decor to match. Don’t be too off-put though, as the welcoming atmosphere and well-maintained motel offers a very reasonable rate for families. Not to mention, each unit has decent kitchen facilities, while some also include a spa bath. While your hosts can give you plenty of things to do in the area, you can get started with your planning using ourĀ 10 Best Things to Do in Balclutha.

Check Highway Lodge Motel out:

10 Best Family Accommodations in The Catlins šŸ‘Ŗ [2023]© Highway Lodge Motel

[CLOSED] Pounawea Waterfront Motels

Spacious apartments on the waterfront of the Catlins River estuary, just a short drive from Owaka, Pounawea Waterfront Motel is a worthy option for families. Stay in a modernly furnished two-bedroom apartment sleeping a family of four with ease. Spruce up family meals in the large kitchen, which you can enjoy eating in the open-plan dining area or out on the picnic bench overlooking the river and the Pacific Ocean.

[CLOSED] Koru Flat (Pounawea)

In the quiet settlement of Pounawea near Owaka, Koru Flat is the perfect wee flat for a large family – up to seven guests! The three-bedroom apartment is modernly decorated, features a garden and a cosy kitchen with an oven. One bedroom has a double bed, while the other two are kitted out with singles and bunk beds. Nearby is a children’s playground and the waterfront of the Catlins River. See more like this in the 10 Best Holiday Homes in The Catlins.

More About Family Accommodations in The Catlins

That’s it for our list of the best family accommodations in The Catlins. For more Catlins talk, including what to do and where to stay, take a look at these awesome guides:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Guide to The Catlins for Families.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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