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.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

Southern Secret Motel

Show Prices
Enter dates for lowest prices
powered by PriceFinder
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
Check In Check Out
Show Prices
Management photos
Southern Secret Motel
View Map
{"widget":{"name":"ibex_photo_carousel","template":"ibex_photo_carousel__widget","divClasses":"prw_rup prw_ibex_photo_carousel","moduleList":["handlers"],"js":{"handlers":"(ta.prwidgets.getjs(this,'handlers'))"},"dust":{"nav_controls":"ibex_photo_carousel__nav_controls"}},"scriptFlags":null,"containerClass":null}
Add Photo Write a Review

22 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 22: English reviews
Start your review of Southern Secret Motel
 Click to rate
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

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 1 week ago

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 6 May 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 28 March 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 7 November 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 3 April 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 18 September 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 11 April 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 6 January 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
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Reviewed 27 April 2013

We stayed at Lancewood Cottage the owner also owned the motels up the road. If we had seen the cottage before we stayed we would not have stayed. When we rang we asked if the cottage was fully self contained, we didn't feel he should have said yes if it wasn't quite finished. Just because all the equipment is in...

Thank Carole J

4 photos of this hotel

Traveller photos: See what travellers like you saw

All Traveller Photos (3)
Room/Suite (3)

Management photos: Courtesy of the property manager

All Management Photos (1)
Other (1)
Check In Check Out
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Southland Region
1.1 km away
Owaka Lodge Motel
Owaka Lodge Motel
#1 of 1 in Owaka
43 reviews
5.5 km away
Surat Bay Lodge
Surat Bay Lodge
#2 of 2 in Surat Bay
44 reviews
1.3 km away
Thomas's Catlins Lodge And Camp Ground
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
27.0 km away
Catlins Kiwi Holiday Park at McLean Falls
12.8 km away
Nugget View & Kaka Point Motels
5.4 km away
Kepplestone by the Sea
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices


  • Free Parking
Room types
  • Kitchenette
In your room
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Free Parking

Additional Information about Southern Secret Motel

Address: Papatowai, Owaka, New Zealand
Region: 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 travellers prefer

“#4, with the bum kitchen light and broken bathroom fan is the most private.”
 of 5 bubbles Igorcrook, 18 Feb 2017 | Read review
“Avoid the Motel”
 of 5 bubbles Dodo432016, 27 Mar 2016 | Read review
“All rooms were beautiful. All very quiet.”
 of 5 bubbles chetercity, 20 Jan 2013 | Read review
“They were all lovely!”
 of 5 bubbles traylee8, 13 Nov 2011 | Read review
4 of 4