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Nestled between Curio Bay and Porpoise Bay, our cafe offers stunning views over Porpoise Bay. Explore our world class Gateway exhibition and learn all about our natural environment and wildlife via interactive exhibits. Directly behind the cafe is the world famous petrified forest, where you can see the remains of an ancient forest and enjoy the sights of the beautiful Yellow-Eye Penguins.
US$3 - US$27
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Drinks, Breakfast
Cafe, New Zealand
Seating, Street Parking, Free off-street parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Full Bar
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were there about 1.45pm and when I asked for the menu was told the chef wasn't on. So we were left with the cabinet food and that choice was minor, especially for savoury food which is what I prefer. Just two options. I chose...one and when it finally came it wasn't hot enough (and I don't like my food very hot). The young staff seemed harassed and it wasn't their fault. But I had intended to pay to go into the museum but decided a business that couldn't be bothered to have enough food in the busiest time of the year, and left just young women (more like girls really) to do all the work made me change my mind.More

Date of visit: December 2020
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Really frustrating that they don’t operate during the times they say in their sign. Called in for breakfast before 11:00, but told they had stopped serving breakfast despite the sign saying it was until 11:00am. Sign on the camping facilities closed between 11:00 and 12:00...for cleaning. Went to the kitchen at 12:15 to be met by a rude gentleman saying they were shut. It’s fair enough to have facilities closed for cleaning and for staff to take breaks, but change the hours of operation to reflect the times you actually operate. And it is never, ever ok to be rude to someone that hadn’t done anything other than what the signs say. Very disappointed.More

Date of visit: December 2020
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Just irritating that we decided we would have breakfast and then are told that the chef is done cooking at five to 11 when the hours say till 11. When there are no other local options I think they have a responsibility to be at...least as good as their published hours. Coffee was fine and my boys enjoyed a blueberry muffin and pie and we have enjoyed good food here in the past. Friends we were eating with were served a pie that was cold too. Not a great day for Curioscape...More

Date of visit: December 2020
Reviewed 8 November 2020 via mobile

Despite their website saying open 11-9 on Sundays this wasn’t the case. The guy was very unapologetic and didn’t seem to care that website was wrong!

Date of visit: November 2020
Reviewed 18 September 2020

In the immediate vicinity of Curio Bay this is the only place visitors have as an option to walk to for a meal and drink. Niagara Falls Cafe is about 8 km or a 10 minute drive away. We reserved a table for our second...evening in the area and were able to walk there from our accommodation via the beach at Porpoise Bay and the camping ground. The dining area is a large open space which lacks ambiance (more cafe than restaurant) and this was not helped by the fact that, apart from ourselves, there was only one other family group having a meal that night. When we add to this the newly introduced Covid-19 procedures at the time it had all the potential of being an unusual experience. Our server, whilst trying to work to guidelines from a crib sheet, still managed to have a chat with us, we had a bottle of wine and had plenty to talk about ourselves so despite some misgivings we made the most of the circumstances. My wife had a Ribeye Steak served with fries, salad and a mushroom sauce (the latter served separately as requested) and she enjoyed her mains dish. I ordered Salmon Fillet served with mash, salad and a herb butter. Surprisingly the latter came on a dish rather than melted over the salmon but perhaps my wife's sauce request for her steak had confused the waitress? The salmon was a bit dry perhaps as a consequence and not ideal with dry mash potato but overall the dish was okay. After consultation with the waitress we decided to share the Pavlova with fruit for dessert. Just as well we took her advice to share as it was an enormous portion - featuring a large selection of fruits and was very good. After our first evening spent looking for yellow-eyed penguins at the Petrified Forest site and a return along the beach in the dark, we came back after our meal prior to sunset which was a lot easier. We paid $143 for the meal and wine which we thought was reasonable value for money.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed 26 August 2020 via mobile

Very disappointed that after checking their website that they were open every day from 09:30, to arrive mid morning and the place was closed. We had planned to visit their display plus have lunch but to no avail. The bay itself is well worth the...visit though.More

Date of visit: August 2020
Reviewed 6 August 2020

This is the only place to buy a meal nearby. It has an interesting digital museum /information centre.

Date of visit: July 2020
Reviewed 31 July 2020

We decided to take a drive from Invercargill to Curio Bay for lunch, when we arrived at this cafe the red flags for us went up when we noticed how filthy and grubby the glass entrance doors were.... the inside of the building looked like...it needed a good clean and the toilets were absolutely disgusting ! We decided to have the seafood chowder, it was ok but nothing to rave about, the food in the cabinet looked old and dry, the quiche was very burnt looking. Definitely not appetising. The owners of this cafe have a captive audience in this beautiful part of New Zealand, but they need to get some tips on presentation...... food and premises!!More

Date of visit: July 2020
Reviewed 18 March 2020

Stoped off at this cafe on a trip through the Catlins and we were underwhelmed at best. The food is very expensive (I understand due to location) and all that was to offer were some very tierd looking bakery items in a cabinet as the...kitchen wasn't open? It was the middle of the day? When we asked if we could have anything else we just got a simple 'no' from a fed up looking staff member. we eneded up with an over microwaved bakery item which was soggy and unappetizing.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed 27 January 2020 via mobile

We stayed on the campsite and fancied a cooked meal as it was too cold to cook outside and to take advantage of the wifi. Apparently (so we were told by the harassed staff) Monday nights weren’t supposed to be busy. Hence they had two...people trying to book in campers, man the exhibition, take orders in the cafe, serve food and presumably cook it. There were no menus, but the pizza and chowder they begrudgingly said they could cook for us were delicious. The local beers were also great.More

Date of visit: January 2020
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