Down the Catlins

Trip Start Jan 06, 2007
Trip End Mar 03, 2007

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Saturday, January 6, 2007

Our first stop in the Catlins was at Kaka Point which amid the weather was pretty bleak, although it was good to stretch the legs. We all had a quick stroll on the beach and Team Wales, still nursing hangovers sucked back a quick ciggie, as the car is a smoke free environment- filthy smokers!!

From the beach we drove off further down the coast to Nugget Point where the weather made a turn for the better. We left the car at the car park and made the small hike along the point to the lighthouse overlooking the rocky nugget looking outcrops with hundreds of sea lions and seal barking below. It was very easy to see why it was named Nugget Point with the sun lighting up the nuggets to give them a golden hue which stood out amongst the green water.

From the Point we tramped back around and down to the rocky Roaring Bay to a Penguin spotting hut to see if we could spy some of the shy birds. No Penguins in sight but we did notice a massive sea lion lounging in the grass not more than fifteen meters away.

Next on it was off to Matai and Purakaunui Falls respectively, which after the recent rain where flowing with enthuisasim. Both falls took a decent hike to get to and where enclosed by a canopy of lush green native bush.

After the falls we continued onwards south not really knowing where we were going to stay the night. eventually we stumbled onto a quaint little family run camping ground. This place was laid back to stay the least with payment made into an honesty box. We both set up our new tents for the first time and set about cooking up some dinner. After dinner we decided to get onto the box of wine we had brought earlier in order to celebrate our first day on the road.

The next morning we woke up in time to pack up, nurse our slight hangovers and drive the 50 odd kms past Tautuku a lovely sweeping beach where I onced camped when at high school and onto the car park for the Catheral Caves. There was a short half hour walk down some lush greenry to the beach below and then another ten minute walk along to the openings. The two caves were pretty spectacular and they hooked up in the middle meaning you can walk in from one and exit out the other. After the caves we got back to the crpark where Mark and I spotted two rather good looking hitch hikers and had to make the difficult decison as to weather to keep Lian and Gareth or trade up.

With the Welshies still in toe Curio Bay was the next stop to see some 160 million year old petrified trees in the ocean rock. It turned out to be pretty boring for us but then and again we didn't inject a lot of enthusiasm into it. We did manage to stop at the local shop for a good kiwi pie and milkshake before continuing on to our next stop Fortrose, to see the old shipwreck of the Ino in the bay that was little more than a few old timber bits sticking out the bay, still the scenery was very crisp and we stopped for a moment to watch the swells rolling in.

From Fortrose we carried on the remaing 30 odd kms and into Invercargil to the nearset Pub for a couple of Pints and a few games of Pool, and then onto the Top 10 Campsite. This campsite was the business!!! After setting up the tents we drove into town and picked up a case of beer and loads of raw meat and set about having an awesome BBQ as the sunset.
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