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“Not going to the Whistling Frog would be like missing out on the penguins and sea lions!”

Whistling Frog Cafe & Bar
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$7 - US$24
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Description: The Whistling Frog Cafe & Bar is located mid-way around the Catlins portion of the Southern Scenic Route. It is an ideal stopover at the iconic attractions, McLean Falls and Cathedral Caves. There is a broad mix of accommodation and powered sites at this overnight stopover. The food is chef prepared, restaurant style with great coffees and local beers and wines. Prices are fair and the food is fresh. Check out the free app available for download to Hike & Drive your way around the Catlins.
Reviewed 6 June 2014

I am surprised as I posted a review in April but I've just realized that my post doesn't appear on TripAdvisor. I guess my english was too poor for my review to be validated but I am happy to take the time to write another message again since the Whistling Frog café was incredibly worth the visit.
I visited this place in March with my Mum who was here from France. We stayed on site so we got a chance to have diner and breakfast there.

We nearly missed out on diner as they shut down the restaurant extremely early ( around 6.30- 7pm )
The staff was extremely helpful and chilled out about us checking in and showing up at the reception about 10 minutes before the last meal orders are usually taken. The manager ( a quite young girl ) told us not too rush and stressed out considering the restaurant was still pretty busy anyway so we even got a chance to get change and go to our cottage before.

I was a bit surprised when I saw the menu as I expected the food to be a bit cheaper in this kind.
However, I would classified the Whistling café as great value for money now I had their food!

Our meal was superb, I could not get over the quality of the food they used, everything was perfect and I am fussy post French girl when it comes to food!

Their selection of wine by the glass wasn't impressive but it's a thing I actually really enjoyed too.
I love my wine and I stay away from those places who keep serving off wine to their customers so their range of wine by the glass is extensive.
I had a pinot gris as a pre diner drink and a merlot with my course. They both tasted fresh opened and the cost of the glass was great value for money and quality. In a few words, I loved their wine too!

We came back the day after for breakfast. it wasn't the same staff obviously. At first, I didn't feel welcome by the gentleman in charge but he was very nice at the end.
My flat white tasted very nice in despite the coffee art was probably not his thing at all! ( Sorry I have to leave some bad notes as well! )
I didnt have breakfast but my mum ordered toast. It was the least boring toast I've ever experienced in New Zealand! Home made taste fresh bread with jam and honeycomb honey from the forest next door.

Cant wait to come back!!!

Date of visit: March 2014
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Thank Bhzvar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ISPIDunedin, Manager at Whistling Frog Cafe & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2014

Hello,

Thank you so much for your great review! We are very glad that you enjoyed your stay with us with your mother. We definitely try to be a little bit quirky and different from other eateries and produce almost everything on our menu on site, from scratch. I am glad you got to sample some of our home made dishes, including our Kamahi Honeycomb at breakfast.

We tend to close for dinner earlier, depending on guests, between March- November and we are open quite late (around 9pm) over the busy Christmas holiday period December- February. However I am glad that you were able to relax a little bit before joining us for Dinner. Once our guests are seated we do not rush them and we allow them to have a nice leisurely dinner.

We serve excellent quality wine in our restaurant, however we normally have only one of each type of wine (pinot gris, Sav, merlot etc) available by the glass so we are able to keep rotating our wines, without them being more than 2 days old. Guests are able to purchase a variety of wine by the bottle as well.

Thank you again for your kind words, we are open all year round now!
We look forward to having you join us again sometime soon, we are only 4 hours from Queenstown :)

Kind Regards,
Nicole Bridson
Whistling Frog Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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232 - 236 of 327 reviews

Reviewed 17 May 2014

The camping ground is lovely and clean with lots of room for large caravans and camper vans as well as having Motels.
The restaurant and bar are well set out and the meals are lovely. We had the Blue Cod which was nice but a little on the pricey side but that is only to be expected as we are in quite an isolated part of the country.

Date of visit: May 2014
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Thank GrantsDunedin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

The best restuarant for service, quality and choice of food that we have found in recent years. Very handily situated by the McLaren Falls. Decor is exceptional and in keeping with the area. A must visit.

Date of visit: April 2014
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Thank kokous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ISPIDunedin, Manager at Whistling Frog Cafe & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2014

Hello,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a great review! We are so thrilled that you had such an enjoyable experience with us here in our little slice of paradise.

We look forward to having you visit us again soon!

Kind Regards,
Nicole Bridson

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

A great place to stay and dine when exploring the Catlins region in Southland New Zealand. In particular, the food was outstanding, as were the hosts who went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

Date of visit: April 2014
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Thank Olympicyear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HeadFrog, Manager at Whistling Frog Cafe & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2014

Thank you for your review,

You are always welcome as our guest. We are so glad that you enjoyed your time in the Catlins Rainforest.

We hope to have you join us again soon.

Kind Regards,
Nicole and Tom

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Reviewed 27 April 2014

Had a lovely time way down South, but will next time be choosing a different camping ground. Be aware, with the tricky weather sometimes, you can get stuck en route, and Whistling Frog DO NOT refund any camp fees for nights booked in and paid for in advance.We found this out by reading a flyer we found in the TV Room, no where else. Perhaps this should be made clear with the online booking?We were taken aback after being stuck one side of Oamaru due to flooding, we had to book into a camping ground there overnight. They were very accomodating! We rang and said we would not be at the Caitlins, and they said they would "fix us up when we got there". When we arrived the next day, were told "oh no, no refunds, its Easter! The campground was never more than 1/2 full and we were there a week. We were told we would be "looked after" if we came for a meal. As we by now over budget, that was unlikely. On the last day, we went to get a takeaway coffee, as we had a written $11 credit for overpaying our initial booking (which we paid in full online) and would you believe we had to pay the difference. So I doubt we would have been "looked after" if we had in fact had a meal there.
On the camping ground side, its a lovely spot, but not awning friendly. The campers and caravans are on hard (road) ground and its a bit of a mission if you want to put an awning up, you can't get the pegs in easily, as the ground is compacted. Really better for motorhomes or caravans without awnings. The facilities are good, but the showers and toilets could do with regular cleaning.
We had a lovely time as we went out most days and did all the walks and tourist things, we had wonderful blue cod and chips from a fabulous caravan down the Coast and some lovely lunches. But we were not impressed with the money hungry Whistling Frog cafe crowd. We have camped everywhere, but never struck the no refund policy before ever. Incidentally, they are the most expensive camping ground we have ever camped in!

Date of visit: April 2014
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Thank PetShopBoy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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