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Previous Day: Day 21 – Dunedin – Arthur Escapes

Day 22 – Dunedin to Curio Bay (The Catlins)

We studied the weather maps and decided that it didn’t matter which way we went, it was going to rain – so we’d drive through the front and towards the Catlins.

The Catlins are one of the places that Art really wanted to see, but (bearing in mind Art’s little problem) we needed to make sure we had a comfortable place to stay. We found a place called ‘The Catlins Beach House’, which boasted ‘Absolute beach front’, and they had a double room free for the next 2 nights.

As predicted, the first part of the journey was rainy. The surf on the coastline was spectacular. Then we travelled in-land, into the Clutha region. The terrain round here was front was hillocks – long straight roads that ‘waved’ up and down – a bit disconcerting as you approached the brow of a hill at a reasonable speed and couldn’t see over the top.

We took a detour to Nugget Point, which is down an 8k gravel road.

There’s a lighthouse at the end, and the path to the lighthouse looks down onto rocks with seals. Art was most disgruntled to find that it was a 30 minute walk to the lighthouse,and you couldn’t see it from the car park. So he sent me off with the camera.

Nugget Point I came back to find him chatting to the camper van next to us. This was a couple of nurses who had been travelling for 10 weeks – with a cat! They’d lost her twice, and the second time they’d driven off and left her in a car park in Queenstown!

The Catlins

Now we’re going to say something that will put us in every South Islanders bad books – The Catlins are lovely, but they remind us of the North Island – in particular some areas of Northland, and the area around Hunua, to the south of where we live in Auckland.

Danish backpacker, resiliant to Catlin sea temps. (Next stop Antartica)

Curio Bay

The Catlins Beach House is everything it describes on the brochure – it’s a 3-bedroomed private house, with two doubles (one en-suite) and one bunk room with 5 beds. And it’s absolute beach-front. You can sit in the garden and look out to the seas, or walk down to the beach, which is very long and golden. With patience, a lot of wildlife can be seen, including the Hectors Dolphin (one of the rarest dolphins in the world), seals, sealions and even the shiny black bodies of the elusive Surfer…..

Curio and Porpoise bays

We’re definitely the oldest ones here – there’s a couple with a young daughter in the other double, and young twenty-somethings in the bunks. Art is currently chatting (NOT chatting-up) to a Dane girl, talking about the Viking influence in the North-East of England.

Just down the road is the Petrified Forest, that can be seen at low tide.

And in the evening, you can also see the yellow-eyed penguin. And this time we actually managed to get a picture of one – unfortunately only a juvenile, apparently, and therefore missing its yellow stripe, but – hey – it’s a penguin!

Sandflies are back, not up to west coast standards though

Next Day: Day 23 – The Catlins

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terris_travelogue/south_island/day_22.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/10 13:37 by art
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