The Fortrose Cliffs – Gateway to the Catlins

The Fortrose Cliffs – Gateway to the Catlins

Kia Ora!!

Nau mai, welcome to Southland, New Zealand.

I have been fortunate enough to move to the south of New Zealand and I have seen plenty of amazing places to visit for a day full of adventure.

Today I’d like to share this secret spot I found just 47 kilometres from the centre city of Invercargill. For this trip, I’d encourage you to round up a friend or two, grab the keys to your car, take a picnic and get moving.

With your lunch packed, music playing, a friend in shotgun, you will be in awe of the green pastures of plentiful farmland move by your side as you whizz along the highway to the Catlins. With only 57,000 people living in Invercargill, these residents are spread far across the abundant fields of the south. The quiet and quaint nature of this area, make this part of the world undisturbed by the busy pace of many major cities of the north and give you peace and much tranquillity you can only find in these remote places. Fortunately, as a driver, you unlikely have to accommodate for traffic on this drive, with most tourists in New Zealand overlooking Southland as a destination to visit instead of travelling to the busy Queenstown or Fiordland region. This will make for an easy escape from the rural lands of Invercargill all year round.


Originally in the 1830s Fortrose was established as a whaling station. Many Europeans & Americans travelled from around the world to New Zealand to hunt this wild being. According to Wikipedia; Whaling is the process of hunting whales for their usable products such as meat and blubber, which can be turned into a type of oil that became increasingly important in the Industrial Revolution. The beginning industrial societies used whale oil in oil lamps and to make soap. So basically the whale had so much produced for powering the world at that time and they were almost hunted to extinction until whaling bans were implemented in many countries around the 1960s throughout the world.

By 1875 Fortrose had become a very busy port with a new jetty being built that year and its main living was made out of exporting wool, grain and timber according to

With the construction of the railroad through the Catlins in 1899, this port no longer saw much business and was then closed.

Today in the 21st century we can only imagine what this place would have looked like in the days of the whaling and as a busy port. As a tourist, we can all enjoy these fantastic views from this elevated cliff faces admiring this beautiful sand-swept beach below.

Most people are blown away by this place, quite literally, as most days the gusting winds of the south batter this exposed coast.

I hope this gives you some great reasons to plan a trip south to visit Fortrose.

I wish that you will enjoy this place as much as I did!

Thank you for reading.

Ka kite ano.

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