HistoryPapatowai is a holiday destination situated 66kms south of Balclutha on the Catlins Coast. Early transportation followed along Tahakopa Beach and forded the estuary, where the Papatowai bridge is now located, until the railway reached Maclennan in 1915. With the construction of the railway came excursion trains from Dunedin in which many visitors came to picnic beneath the rata trees on Papatowai Beach and attend sports meetings. The bridge over the estuary was constructed in 1921. About 1918 the local community established the Papatowai Scenic Board which worked to protect and preserve the native bush in the area. Today this legacy of conservation continues.