Sat and Sun 13th and 14th October detail: Catlins region of New Zealand
Saturday 13th October: Manapouri to Catlins
Awaking to yet more pouring rain we packed up and left Manapouri heading south towards the Catlins National park. We took the Southern Scenic route and as there was no sign of snow the journey was quite a smooth one. We stopped at Invercargill (and whilst we are sure a very nice/functional place not one of our favourite of our trip) for shopping and a quick trip to McDonalds for free wi-fi.
At Fortrose – the entrance to the Catlins National Park – we took the rougher gravel road south heading for Waipapa Lighthouse. We arrived at the lighthouse and had a lovely walk around this area. Leaving here we took another longer gravel road towards Curio Bay – arriving late afternoon at our amazing studio at Curio Bay Accommodation.
The evening involved a penguin sighting which I have already posted about – amazing! 🙂
Sunday 14th October: Exploring the Catlins area
As I write the ferocious wind is whistling and howling around our lovely studio here in Curio Bay. Watching the waves from our studio is brilliant and they are so high and wild because of the weather. We have just come in from another evening of watching the penguins come ashore at the petrified forest (see my separate penguin sighting posting for more info and pictures for this). We have had a great day exploring the Catlins area and absolutely love the scenery here. We have visited a few different places on our drive up to Owaka and back. A couple of places we wanted to visit (McLean Falls and Cathedral Caves) were both closed – McLean Falls because of a huge rockslide so it was very dangerous, and Cathedral Caves because of extreme weather. We didn’t let this stop our adventure plans though! We headed for Owaka and stopped at Florence Hill lookout for fabulous views – coming across sheep and lambs being moved from one field to another which was fun!
Next stop was Purakauni Falls (along another interesting gravel road!) which was beautiful and very photogenic. I tried out a slower shutter speed on my camera here and got some good pictures. We ate a delicious lunch at Catlins Cafe in Owaka and visited the quaint visitor centre.
On our return journey to Curio Bay we visited Matai Falls (upper and lower) and again took some wonderful pictures. Arriving back at Curio Bay we headed to see our penguins and then for a quiet night in enjoying the absolutely stunning views. This is definitely a place we don’t want to leave!