We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Southern Secret Motel

Prices from our online travel partners are not available
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Southland Region
06/04/2017 06/05/2017
Show Prices
View Map
Add a photo
{"widget":{"name":"ibex_photo_carousel","divClasses":"prw_rup prw_ibex_photo_carousel","js":{"handlers":"(ta.prwidgets.getjs(this,'handlers'))"},"moduleList":["handlers"],"template":"ibex_photo_carousel__widget","dust":{"nav_controls":"ibex_photo_carousel__nav_controls"}},"scriptFlags":null,"containerClass":null}
Add Photo Write a Review

23 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Showing 23: English reviews
Start your review of Southern Secret Motel
 Click to rate
Reviewed March 17, 2017 via mobile

Papatowai is a tiny spot on a remote road. And Southern Secret is no Ritz Carleton with Egyptian cotton towels. I give it 3 stars, but that's an "I'd stop and stay there again" 3 stars. We were tired after a long day of driving, and arrived hours after dark. So, very grateful that Craig came out to greet us....

Thank AnOregonFamily
Reviewed February 18, 2017

My partner had been here before and loved it. Nestled in the trees, lovely bird song. However, self service arrival. We made reservations for the last minute at a restaurant 20 minutes away. The manager walks up and demands card processing right then because"he is busy" In the morning, on the way out he confronts my partner and aggressively asks...

Thank Igorcrook
San Francisco
Reviewed February 13, 2017

Perfect location for cycle tourists overnighting in Papatowai. The only place to buy hot food -- or any food, for that matter-- is just across the street. Apartment four was beautifully appointed, with complete privacy and quiet, with wilderness views from all windows and the spacious front deck. Watch out for sand flies!! Manager has loads of local knowledge about...

Thank DMon707
Levin, New Zealand
Reviewed May 5, 2016

Southern Secret Motel is in the central part of the Catlins, very handy to attractions like Cathedral Caves, McLean Falls, the Whistling Frog restaurant, and the fascinating Lost Gypsy gallery. The rooms are clean, comfortable and spacious, and Craig the host is a mine of helpful information about the area’s attractions, as well as being very friendly. We can definitely...

Thank tonystraw
Wellington, New Zealand
Reviewed March 27, 2016

We arrived at the Motel where we had booked a room for 4 days. When I asked where the guest laundry was I was told there wasn't one as the motel was on tank water. I was told I should have done the laundry in Invercargil! We were then directed to a launderette in Balclutha which was an hours drive...

Thank Dodo432016
Selby, United Kingdom
Reviewed November 7, 2015

This motel is different yet beguiling so we came back. The chalets are well equipped. cosy and have a character of their own. The rooms are quiet and tucked away beside the road. We overlooked the shrubs around and had a balcony. Our host is prone to leaving the keys to let guests settle in themselves and has a casual...

Thank Johns658247
Port Kennedy WA
Reviewed April 2, 2015

Not 5 star but not far off it. Turned up late 7.30 but nothing too much trouble for the owner. The studio room is tastefully decorated and spotlessly clean ...what a pleasure it was to stay there. Peaceful and quiet we had room 3 The bed was a tad too soft for us but we have that problem wherever we...

1Thank Linsim
Garner, North Carolina
Reviewed September 17, 2014

Though the motel is very small--3-4 units and a bit dated, the rooms we had were very clean and the beds comfortable. The location is very good for going through the Catlins area of the South Island. It's about 1/2 across. It is walking distance to The Lost Gypsy Gallery. The town itself is extremely small.

Thank NCdianab
Waimate, New Zealand
Reviewed April 10, 2014

Our motel unit was dated but clean. A shame about the first general impression from the road which is slightly dilapidated and off-putting because everything inside our unit was OK and we felt it to be good value for only $99 per night.

Thank Doreen B
Invercargill, New Zealand
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Doing a trip through the Catlins we wanted a halfway stopping point so we had time to take in all the attractions. This motel was ideal, clean, all facilities, comfortable and close to the store. The manager was very helpful with local information. The price was reasonable. The extra sofa bed was not very comfortable for 2 people but ok...

1Thank shapeup24
Questions? Get answers from hotel staff and past guests. Ask a question

3 photos of this hotel

Traveler photos: See what travelers like you saw

All Traveler Photos (3)
Room/Suite (3)
06/04/2017 06/05/2017
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Southland Region
0.7 mi away
Owaka Lodge Motel
Owaka Lodge Motel
#1 of 1 in Owaka
52 reviews
0.8 mi away
Thomas's Catlins Lodge And Camp Ground
16.8 mi away
Catlins Kiwi Holiday Park at McLean Falls
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
8.0 mi away
Nugget View & Kaka Point Motels
3.4 mi away
Kepplestone by the Sea
0.8 mi away
Catlins Gateway Motel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Questions? Get answers from hotel staff and past guests. Ask a question


  • Free Parking
Room types
  • Kitchenette
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
In your room
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Free Parking

Additional Information about Southern Secret Motel

Address: Papatowai, Owaka, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Southland Region
Number of rooms: 4
Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Southern Secret Motel staff and past guests.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Can tickets for local attractions be purchased at the front desk?
  • Do you have to pay extra for a mini-fridge?
  • At what time does the pool open each day?

See which rooms travelers prefer

“#4, with the bum kitchen light and broken bathroom fan is the most private.”
Igorcrook, Feb 18, 2017 | Read review
“Avoid the Motel”
Dodo432016, Mar 27, 2016 | Read review
“All rooms were beautiful. All very quiet.”
chetercity, Jan 20, 2013 | Read review
“They were all lovely!”
traylee8, Nov 13, 2011 | Read review
4 of 4
Questions? Get answers from hotel staff and past guests. Ask a question