Exploring the Catlins

Trip Start Sep 23, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, January 7, 2007

After watching a couple of seals playing in the waves outside our bach, we packed up the car and drove east through the Catlins. We reached Cathedral Cave by late morning to catch low tide; the only time that the cave is accessible. The cave was a right angle with an entrance at either end, one looking out onto the beach, the other facing out to sea. The first cave mouth was big. We walked inside, letting our eyes get used to the darkness as we peered up at the ceiling high above us. It turned out that this entrance was a mere chapel- as we went around the corner, the roof soared overhead. It was spectacular, and through the enormous cave mouth, the view of the blue sky and sparkling sea were glorious.
We climbed back up to the car park and back tracked to McLean falls. This was my favourite of the waterfalls we saw on this trip. It was a double cascade, pouring straight down a cliff face and turning to tumble over rocks towards the valley floor. We worked our way farther East, stopping at beautiful beaches such as Florence Bay and Nugget Point. At Nugget Point, a lighthouse perched at the end of a long finger of land, extending far above the sea. Beautiful white rock formations stood out against the peacock blue sea. Seals basked on rocks at the bottom of the cliffs, or shot through the waves, whilst the pups played in rock pools. I walked to the lighthouse for an amazing view, and watched two male seals fighting for dominance on the beach below, while others swam through the kelp fronds. By late afternoon we had reached our cottage in the pleasant fishing village of Taieri Mouth, near Dunedin.
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