Hector dolphins, Yellow Eyed Penguins for NY 2010

Trip Start Jul 10, 2008
Trip End Jul 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
curio bay caravan park

Flag of New Zealand  , Southland,
Friday, December 31, 2010

Next morning, new years eve, it was sadly time to leave. 7am breakie followed by the 8am ferry. The sea was a little calmer this time as we sat out back watching the albatross and shearwater. Back in Invercargill after stocking up on supplies we got back on the Southern Scenic Route and headed east. We drove right though to our camping spot at Porpoise Bay missing New Zealand's most southerly point. We booked into our campground at Curio Bay that was in a prime location on the headland between Curio and Porpoise Bay! Curio Bay was famous for its Yellow Eyed Penguin, petrified forest and fur seals, Porpoise Bay famous for the rare Hector Dolphin! The campsite, although a bit rustic had great well hidden way camp sites and was half the price of the Top 10 sites we’d stayed at!

The lower McLean Falls in the Catlins

We decided to have a drive out to Maclean Falls that afternoon. A great set of falls and pools that can be got to through a nice rainforest walk. We decided to head on out to Matai and Horseshoe Falls also. Two more lovely waterfalls well worth a visit. The scenery along the way was top notch, I was particularly in awe of Florence Lookout with great views down to a long sweeping bay. We missed a good many sites along the way due to time constraints and thought this would definitely be a place we’d love to come back to!

Matai Falls in the Catlins

They had security at the camp entrance, they must have been expecting a big rave or something for New Years Eve! We went up to the high point in the camp for a beer and snacky of a plate of shrimp – it’s been a hard day :) We were sat in our campervan looking down to Porpoise Bay and could see some of the tiny Hector Dolphins swimming in the waves! We looked over to Curio Bay and we could see NZ Fur Seals! As I peered through the binocs I spotted a Yellow Eyed Penguin wandering over the rocks! We jumped in the campervan and headed down to get a close up view! What a great looking bird we felt very privileged to see the little guys down there! A few more people and penguins turned up and we saw a few jumping in and out of the sea!

Yellow Eyed Penguins (Megadyptes antipodes)  at Curio Bay

There were some big waves coming in that evening and I headed down to the rocks for some sunset shots. I certainly provided a bunch of entertainment to some of the locals as a big one came over the rocks and wetted my feet!

Curio Bay sunset

Me and a pregos lady were not going to make midnight, we were in bed way before then, but it was a quiet one with not too many of the younger revellers roaming the camp!
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