Owaka trip planner
Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free
Owaka is a small town in Otago, in the southern South Island of New Zealand. It is the largest community in the rugged, forested Catlins area, close to the border with Southland, some 35km south of Balclutha on the Southern Scenic Route. The town's population was 334 in the 2006 census, a decrease of 39 from 2001. In the census figures, 72.9% of the population were European, and 15% were Māori.The town's name comes from the Māori for "the place of canoes", a reference to the town's location close to the Owaka River, which joins the Catlins River three kilometres (2 miles) from the town, close to the coast. The town was originally called Catlins River, then Quakerfield.On 22 June 1896, Owaka became the terminus of the Catlins River Branch railway, and it retained this status until an extension of the branch line to Ratanui was opened on 1 August 1904. The railway ultimately terminated in Tahakopa, but as traffic declined on the line in its later years, the Tuesday freight train (one of four per week) ran only as far as Owaka after 1958. The branch closed on 27 February 1971, and little evidence of its existence remains in or around Owaka besides some of the line's old formation, as the last substantial relic, Owaka station's goods shed, was removed in 1986.Put Owaka at the heart of your travel plans by using our New Zealand itinerary planner.
Create a full itinerary — for free!
Plan your trip to Owaka
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Top tours for Owaka
Best things to do in Owaka
Side trips from Owaka
Where to stay in Owaka
Browse hundreds of hotels and read guest reviews on the world's leading online travel agency website.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
Millions of travel reviews
Millions of travel reviews
Extend your holiday
Recently planned trips to Owaka
46 days in Australia & New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in South Island BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM LITHUANIA March, outdoors, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced