Continuing along the main road it is not long before the small settlement of Owaka is reached. This is the main town of the Catlins district and it has all the essential facilities, including a Department of Conservation (DOC) Visitor Centre. This is the place to go for information about walks in the area.

Among the more interesting walks is the Catlins River Walk (5 hours), which passes through pretty silver beech forest and can be started from the Tawanui camping area west of Owaka. Another good walk for those interested in the local flora is the Pounawea Nature Walk (45 minutes). It starts from the Pounawea Motor Camp just to the south-east of Owaka. There is a good chance of spotting white-faced herons, pied shags, paradise ducks and other aquatic birds along this loop track.

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