Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
49.00 ft (14.94 m)
Trail type
1.20 mi (1.93 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Curio Bay Track is a short hike located near Tokanui, Southland. This trail travels along a picturesque coast. This hike is 1.2 miles long and gains 49 feet of elevation. 

This hike starts off of Waikawa Curio Bay Rd. There is room for a few cars to park on the side of the road. Begin hiking south towards the coast. After 0.1 miles, you will reach Penguin Viewpoint. This is a series of platforms where it is possible to see yellow-eyed penguins under the right conditions. These are a very rare species of penguin. There are multiple informational signs on these platforms. Some of the information is about a petrified forest on the shore. Continue down some stairs to view the petrified wood. From here, you will also enjoy views of rocky cliffs along the ocean shore.  Turn around and head back up the stairs before turning right down a gravel trail. 

Another 0.1 miles will bring you past a small visitor center that contains a gift shop, cafe, and restrooms. Continue past here and walk through a campground. You will enjoy views of ocean waves crashing against rocky cliffs. 0.3 miles of hiking will bring you to a hill.  Trek up this hill for 0.1 miles to reach the top and be rewarded with breathtaking views. To the west, you will see the sea cliffs near Penguin Viewpoint. To the north,  you will see Catlins Coast Marine Mammal Sanctuary. After taking ample time to enjoy the sights, turn around and retrace your steps to return to the parking area. 

The Curio Bay Track is open for hiking year round. There are no associated fees to hike here. Dogs are not allowed on this trail. The Curio Bay Track is an easy way to enjoy coastal scenery. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Ocean Views.


Exposed to Wind.

Trailhead Elevation

20.00 ft (6.10 m)

Highest point

43.00 ft (13.11 m)


Flushing toilets

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures


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