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Dunedin - Invercargill

Along Catlins with full nature focus

overcast 15 °C

I left Dunedin going south along the motorway. The area is mostly flat surrounded with low hills all covered by paddocks of cattle, sheep and red deer. At Balclutha I turned off the motorway towards the coast and followed the South Scenic Road. First stop was at Nugget Point which is a lighthouse situated on a cliff very exposes to the weather with hard wind and water waves. Here you can get a great view over the coast and see all kind of wildlife with furseals resting and seagull and spoonbills nesting. Into the car again to the next stop which was the Purakaunui Falls. A short strol into the forrest and then you could see a nice waterfall in three-four levels. Along the South Scenic road some parts followed the coast over green hills with beautiful views over long beaches and deep cliffs falling straight down into the water. I continued to Curio Bay and Porpoise Bay following squiggly gravel road. Felt like I was driving the Swedish Rally and only the deep dark pinewood forest was missing. Well on site I was lucky to see several Hectors dolphines slowly cruising along the beach exposing their dorsal fin when breaking the waterline. So cool!!! At Curio Bay I timed the low tide so I could see the Petrified forrest in the cliff ledge. This is an old forrest where only the fossilised tree trunks in the cliffs remains. Last stop along the Catlins was Waipapa Point where a great beach and sand dunes followed the coastline rounding a lighthouse. A very windswept place where even the pine trees grew crooked. On the beach several sealions were sleeping and also a small cute furseal pup.
This was my full on nature discovery along the Catlins showing of amazing views, variation in structure and all kind of weather within 6 hours from sun to pouring rain and hard wind. As I always say: the weather her in NZ is extremely unpredictable.

Posted by JMarianneL 20.11.2012 01:11 Archived in New Zealand

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