The Catlins-Southland’s Secret

The Catlins, Mother Nature rules! Fairy-tale waterfalls, lighthouses, penguins, a Jurassic petrified forest. Oh, the hits just keep on coming! Word of mouth sends us through the Catlins on the Southern Scenic Route. Rarely visited, so beautiful, with every few miles a scenic side trip, a walkway or track.

Slope Point – Closer to the South Pole than to the Equator

This is the most southerly point on the South Island. Should you slip off the cliffs…well, that’s it for you. The winds are cold, violent and smash the cliffs. Windswept waves rip into the South Pacific Ocean. One gust and off to Antarctica you go. This was a “breezy” summer day.

Peaceful Waterfalls and Magical Trees

Purakaunui Falls – NZ’s most photographed falls 

McLean Falls – The Catlins highest falls

Matai Falls and a forest walk

Jurassic Forest – 180 Million Years Old

This is Curio Bay/Tomu Toka – (Maori translation – hardened wood) – one of three accessible fossil forests on the planet. At low tide, we walked through massive seaweed and on the remains of petrified tree logs, stumps and tree rings. The forests that covered this area were destroyed by massive sheet floods of volcanic debris, only to grow back and be covered again.

Lighthouses at Waipapa and Nugget Points

Waipapa Point, on the western end of Southland Scenic Route. Beautifully quiet and poignant, the lighthouse was built in 1881 after NZ’s worst civilian shipwreck, where 131 of 151 people died.

Nugget Point/Tokata at the eastern end. The trek to the lighthouse and view speaks for itself with massive nugget rock formations.

We tiptoed into a penguin blind, and with field glasses, watched our first yellow-eyed penguin waddle on shore. The picture is poor – but proof!

Next Post: On the road to Dunedin, the Otago Penisula, and finding quirkiness in Oamaru

9 thoughts on “The Catlins-Southland’s Secret

  1. Thank you so much! Loving it here. And thanks for commenting and connecting.

    Like

  2. Angela Carter May 8, 2020 — 6:45 am

    The waterfall is breathtaking

    Like

  3. Yep – that’s exactly how I remembered it. Beautiful photos (again)!

    Like

  4. Those waterfalls! New Zealand surely has a corner on beauty. Thanks for another beautiful post xo

    Like

  5. WOW! Just amazing.

    Like

  6. We never had to sanitize shoes, just had to use boot brushes to knock off seeds before we entered a couple of islands.

    Like

  7. Beautiful…great adventure!👍

    Like

  8. New Zealand outshines Norway. Beautiful. Did you do any walks where you had to sanitize your footwear before entering the path?

    Like

  9. Beautiful!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close