Papatowai is a sleepy little village just beyond Maclennan. Lying about mid-way along the scenic route it is surrounded by spots to spot and therefore can make a good base. If you're in the area don't miss the Curios Shop/Museum. It's a lot of fun for all ages. An ingenuous Kiwi hippie has re-converted an old house-bus into a house-bus-shop. The place is chokkers full of gadgets and toys made out of just about anything. Paua shells come alive, an old train tours the shop constantly and you'll be able to use the electricity generated by your body to turn on a light. The creator has evidently got a wonderful impish sense of fun so beware....but DON'T MISS IT.
The Papatowai Camping Ground also comes highly recommended. The operator is extremely friendly and helpful and will not hesitate to let you know the best places to fish or visit.
If fortune smiles on you, you might get to see Hector's dolphins in Porpoise Bay. Hector's dolphins are the world's smallest dolphin. They are also the shyest which makes gathering research difficult for scientists. They do come close to the shore in summer to rear their young but please don't try to touch or harass them.