7 Best Motels in The Catlins© Kaka Point Motel
7 Best Motels in The Catlins

10 BEST Motels in The Catlins 🏘️ [2024]

© Kaka Point Motel

Where to Find a Motel in The Catlins

Waterfalls, sea lions, seals, penguins, beaches, lakes, fossilised forests, caves, blowholes and more: there’s so much to see in The Catlins that you’re definitely going to want to spend at least a couple of days exploring it all. Make it a convenient stay with all the facilities you need by staying at one of the motels in The Catlins. From modern motels in Kaka Point to budget motels in Owaka, as well as a couple of holiday parks in the area with motel units, you have some decent options along The Catlins Coast. Make an informed decision with this list of the best motels in The Catlins.

For more trip-planning advice, check out The Complete Guide to The Catlins and 15 Best Things to Do in The Catlins.

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 offer a bit more space. Other highlights of the motel include cots and highchairs for families, plunger coffee and complimentary use of surf and bodyboards!

Check Nugget View Kaka Point Motels out:

7 Best Motels in The Catlins© Kaka Point Motel

2. Catlins Area Motel (Owaka)

An affordable motel in Owaka, the Catlins Area Motel offers a selection of apartments surrounding a picturesque garden. Every apartment sleeps up to four guests across a double bed, a single bed and a sofa bed. Units feature a spacious kitchen with a stovetop, a large bathroom with a shower, laundry facilities and more. There’s also free WiFi! This is one of the accommodations recommended in the 10 Best Family Accommodations in The Catlins.

Check Catlins Area Motel out:

7 Best Motels in The Catlins© NZPocketGuide.com

3. The Whistling Frog Resort (Chaselands)

Offering motel units, self-contained cottages, cabins and camping sites, The Whistling Frog Resort is worth considering even for frequent motel-dwellers. This holiday park-style accommodation offers motel rooms along a boardwalk nestled in bush, each with their own kitchen and bathroom facilities. Either way, we recommend at least one of your meals be at the on-site Whistling Frog Restaurant and Bar. See more affordable stays like this in the 12 Best Budget Accommodations in The Catlins.

Check The Whistling Frog Resort out:

7 Best Motels in The Catlins© The Whistling Frog Resort

4. Catlins Gateway Motel (Owaka)

Need more choices in Owaka? The Catlins Gateway Motel offers a small (therefore peaceful) selection of eight self-contained ground-floor units. Most units are three-berth studio units, while two are one-bedroom suitable for families, all featuring an open-plan lounge and a well-equipped kitchenette. Facilities at the motel include electric heating, free WiFi, access to laundry facilities and more.

Check Catlins Gateway Motel out:

7 Best Motels in The Catlins© Catlins Gateway Motel

5. Owaka Lodge Motel (Owaka)

Just when you didn’t think there were enough motels in Owaka, Owaka Lodge Motel gives you the most comprehensive offering of motel units in the small town. Couples and a couple of friends travelling together will find affordable queen and twin studios, while the one-bedroom unit provides more space for families. Either way, you’ll have access to full private kitchen facilities, an ensuite and the usual motel features. Some of the units have attractive timber-lined decor, while they all lead out to a spacious garden.

Check Owaka Lodge Motel out:

7 Best Motels in The Catlins© Owaka Lodge Motel

6. 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 our 10 Best Things to Do in Balclutha.

Check Highway Lodge Motel out:

7 BEST Motels in The Catlins 🏘️ [2023]© Highway Lodge Motel

7. Helensborough Motor Inn (Balclutha)

Another popular choice in Balclutha, Helensborough Motor Inn offers a range of spacious studios and multi-bedroom units. The 12 units are set in attractive gardens. And while the rooms themselves might not be winning any style points, you’ll find a functional kitchen in each and irresistible prices. Those who want a bit of pampering can choose a corner spa bath, while those who are travelling with a tribe can hire out a three-bedroom holiday home.

Check Helensborough Motor Inn out:

7 BEST Motels in The Catlins 🏘️ [2023]© Helensborough Motor Inn

8. Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park (Newhaven)

Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park is another holiday park accommodation in The Catlins that also provides motel units. The colourful self-contained units on the shores of the sea lion habitat of Surat Bay have essential facilities at your fingertips, like a bathroom and kitchenette with a stovetop, kettle and all the essential utensils to make basic meals, while the amenities building on the campsite has a more complete communal kitchen should you require more. See more affordable accommodation in the 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in The Catlins.

Check Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park out:

7 Best Motels in The Catlins© Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park

9. Rosebank Lodge (Balclutha)

This motel/hotel in Balclutha might be pretty limited in terms of its in-room facilities, but at least you have an on-site restaurant, gym and even a bottle shop to make use of. Rosebank Lodge offers solo travellers, couples and groups of three a private stay in a studio with a sundeck and an ensuite. Although you have a small kitchenette, this is limited to a microwave, kettle and a fridge, so don’t expect to be able to fully self-cater. For alternative stays for couples nearby, however, check out the 7 Most Romantic Accommodations in The Catlins.

Check Rosebank Lodge out:

7 BEST Motels in The Catlins 🏘️ [2023]© Rosebank Lodge

10. [CLOSED] Pounawea Waterfront Motels

Get the holiday home vibe at these two spacious apartments on the waterfront of the Catlins River estuary, just a short drive from Owaka. Pounawea Waterfront Motel is a boutique motel in The Catlins and a worthy option for families. Stay in a modernly furnished two-bedroom apartment sleeping up to four guests each. Spruce up 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.

More About Motels in The Catlins

That’s it for our list of the best motels 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 Complete Guide to The Catlins.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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