© 2012 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_new_zealand_caitlens_curio_bay_16

New Zealand – Catlins / Curio Bay – 19th Dec

First stop for the day was Anderson Park, an impressive Georgian-style residence set in 24 hectares of landscaped gardens. The art on show in the house was of local New Zealand artists and is worth a look as well as the gardens and the Māori house located at the rear of the house.

90km from Invercargill is the lovely (and remote) Curio Bay. During the drive along the scenic route which takes you along the coast we stopped at Waipapa point to explore the beach which is home to seals and a lighthouse. Curio Bay has one hostel that we could see; along with a few guest houses and a camp ground located on the beach, no shops or ATM’s. In the trusty van we checked into the Curio Bay Camping Ground and at $8 each is great value.

The location is what you are paying for. The showers are fairly antiquated and the kitchen is the size of a shoebox but with a glorious bay famed for surfing and endangered Hector Dolphins to the left and a Jurassic period petrified fossil forest with Yellow-Eyed Penguins (arguably the rarest of penguin species) to the right what more could you want?

The petrified forest is 180 million years old and was once a forest of conifers which were buried by ancient volcanic mud flows and gradually replaced by silica to produce the fossils now exposed by the sea. We had fun exploring the rock and the rock pools as well as watching the rough sea swirling around the masses of kelp.

We returned to see the Yellow-Eyed penguins later in the evening and saw a few returning from their fishing trips. People are allowed to watch FROM A DISTANCE! But as usual, people / tourists get in the way of these rare animals to snap a photo or two or hundred and stop them from reaching their nests and young. It really drives both of us mad. If you do go please show some respect and keep your distance, most people do not and its such an infuriating thing to see.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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