Local Wildlife

Sea Lions - The native New Zealand Sea Lion (our largest wild animal) can be viewed right here at Surat Bay all year round, but especially in Winter. Sometimes they play right outside the Lodge. They are permanent residents!

Penguins - yellow-eyed and little blue penguins live on the Catlins Coast The yellow-eyed penguin can be seen at Roaring Bay (Nugget Point) during the hours of sunrise and sunset. This is a 30 minute drive from Surat Bay Lodge. For a more unique and private viewing take one of our Tours. Yellow Eyed Penguin

Fur Seals - Many New Zealand Fur seals can be seen from the Nugget Point Lighthouse (30 minutes from the hostel). They are resident all round the Catlins coast.

Native birds - Numerous native birds live around Surat Bay Lodge including native Pigeons, Tuis, Bellbirds, Warblers, Herons, Shags, Gulls and many more. The Royal Spoonbill, Dotterels and Kingfishers can also be seen close by around the Catlins estuary especially at low tide.

Exotic & Farm Animals - Along with all the usual sheep and cows there are also Llamas and Alpacas in the Catlins district.

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Native Wildlife: The Catlins has abundant Native Wildlife

Around Surat Bay Lodge

Surat Bay to Cannibal Bay Walk (via False Islet and Headland Viewpoint) 1hr45mins
Walk along Surat Bay beach admiring the views and our native Sea Lions (You can even see them from our windows). When you come to the grassy sand dunes, take a right up to the Headlands for an unrivelled view of some of the Catlins Coastline. On the way down, continue right, accross the dunes, on to Cannibal Bay - a haul-up spot for one of the largest Sea Lion colonies in the area.

Jacobs Hill:
Ask the owner to call the farmer for access to the private land on which Jacobs Hill stands prominently above Surat Bay. A half hour walk to the top offers amazing views of Cannibal Bay, Surat Bay and Jacks Bay, plus Catlins Estuary and beyond.

Stargazing and Bird Watching:
Surat Bay and the Catlins Estuary attracts many birds native to the area. It's a beautiful spot to check out the wildlife; come see us for binoculars for a closer look. King Fishers, Tui's and Fan-tails are regularily seen from our windows! Also, the area is a perfect spot for stargazing, maybe even a glimpse of those Southern Lights on a crisp, clear winters evening. No lights in the area and a clear sky make for the perfect spot to set out a blanket and watch the wonders of the Milky Way. Don't forget to wish upon a shooting star!

Collect-your-own Fresh Seafood:
At Hina Hina on low tide, on the way to Jack's Bay, you can collect 150 Fresh Cockles each for dinner! Also at Kaka Point on low tide, you can also collect 50 NZ Fresh Mussels and 10 Paua (NZ-only Shellfish) each for Dinner! Fresh seafood is a-plenty.

Local Catlins Attractions

Owaka Museum - 5 minutes by car.
Hina Hina - for the collection of Fresh Cockles at Low Tide - 10 minutes by car.
Kaka Point for the collection of Fresh NZ Mussels and Paua at low tide - 20 minutes by car.
Parakanui falls - 15 minutes by car.
Jack’s Blowhole and Jack's Bay - 20 minutes by car.
Nugget Point and Roaring Bay for Yellow-Eyed Penguin Spotting -  30 minutes by car.
Papatowai, McLeans Falls, Cathedral Caves, Curio Bay, Slope Point and more, are all just half hour to an hours drive from Surat Bay!



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