Catton was 27 when she penned her award-winning book "The Luminaries," which is set in 1866 during the New Zealand gold rush.
The 832-page work is also the longest novel to win the Man Booker prize.
The chair of judges Robert Macfarlane described the novel as a "dazzling work, luminous, vast."
He went on to call it "a book you sometimes feel lost in, fearing it to be 'a big baggy monster,' but it turns out to be as tightly structured as an orrery."
Catton was presented with the grand prize of $79,000 at a Guildhall ceremony in London Tuesday night.
Also nominated for this year's edition of the literary award are works by Jim Crace, Colm Toibin, NoViolet Bulawayo, Jhumpa Lahiri and Ruth Ozeki.