November 25th, 2006 – by: roamingduck
The Moeraki Boulders
After a chilly night in the tent, we left the campsite at Oamaru and set off for the day, our destination today being the Catlin Coast, the rugged and most southerly part of the South Island. Not long after we set off we stopped to see the Moeraki boulders. On the coast, these are spherical boulders which look like they have been placed on the beach, some of them look like dinosaur eggs. They are quite spectacular.
We continued along the coast driving through Dunedin, apparently one of only a handful of places in New Zealand where there is a regional accent. We reached the Catlins by about 1.30pm and decided we would drive down to Curio Bay.
The Matai Falls
On the way we stopped at Matai Falls, a walk through regenerating podocarp forest to some quite delightful falls. We continued through this remote area, it getting increasingly windy as we got nearer to the coast. We passed a fantastic viewpoint, up high on the cliffs looking down along a sandy coast and the blue green ocean. We soon reached Curio Bay, a tiny settlement right alongside the ocean. We went to have a look at the campsite but it looked extremely basic and we didn't like the idea of camping amongst the 6ft high reeds in gale force winds. We decided to seek out alternative accomodation. This was limited to two backpackers and two boutique apartments, we decided to investigate the latter. It was time for a treat. The apartments were owned by Curio Bay backpackers so we went to collect the key, which was hung up on a blackboard where we just had to write our name to say we had occupied one of the apartments.
If you look closly you might be able to spot two yellow eyed penguins
Inside it was luxury, a kitchen, dining and lounge area, a huge bed with a down duvet on it and patio doors which looked out onto the beach and ocean. We soon made the decision that we would have two nights here - despite it being $160 (50 pounds) a night. This area has a lot of wildlife including yellow eyed penguins. In the evening we went to the 'Petrified Forest' - one of the areas to see the penguins. It was still cold and windy so we didn't want to be hanging about for ages. We soon saw one of the penguins come onto the rocks, shortly followed by its mate, we watched them for about 15 minutes until they went into the bush where their nest and chicks must have been. After this we headed back to our luxury home and got warm whilst the wind howled and the rain poured, there was even a short spell of hail stones - it really is wild here!
Catlin Coast Hotels & Accommodations review
Situated in Curio Bay, a remote settlement on the Ocean. It is really quiet and peacful here and this accomodation is absolutely perfect. … read entire review