Southern Scenic Route

Bluff Travel Blog

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This way home.
In the morning we set off South in drizzly weather. We were headed for the Southern Scenic Route, which would take us from Te Anau, through Manapouri, Invercargill, through the Catlins, with Dunedin as our final destination.

We arrived in Invercargill around lunchtime, but decided to carry on towards Bluff, which is the oyster capital of NZ. Sadly the oyster season doesn't start until April, but Bluff has another claim to fame, namely being the Southern most point of the state highway, which runs North to South. It isn't quite the Southern most point of the South Island (this honour falls upon Slope Point, which lies a bit further East), but it's not far off it.
Jacks Blowhole
We stopped there for lunch, with views over the coast. We would say lovely views, but it was a very grey day.

After lunch we continued on to Curio Bay at the start of the Catlins National Park. On the way we passed the uggliest church we have ever layed our eyes on. Hardly what you would expect to see on the Southern SCENIC Route. In Curio Bay we went to see the petrified forest (180 million years old) and also spotted a rare yellow eyed penguin, waddling his way up for his nights rest. We stopped just around the corner for the night, during which we were nearly blown away by the strong winds that raged over the coast.

The following morning we got up early and drove about 45 minutes along the coast to the Cathedral Caves. These caves are only accessible during low tide, which this day was at 10.
A bit windy!
00. We arrived at 8.30 and were the first ones there. The walk down to the beach was amazing, though a dense forrest, with giant ferns and enourmous trees, dripping with with the rain that had fallen thoughout the night. It continued on a pristine beach, until reaching the caves a few hundred metres further on.

After the caves we continued on the Scenic Route and saw the Makai, Horseshoe and Purakanui Waterfalls and also Jacks Blowhole, which is a big hole in the ground 200m from the beach. It is joined to the sea by two big caves, so when the tide comes in, water rushes into the hole. We expected it to be a bit of a geiser, but it is 55m deep, 144m long and 68m wide, so there is no chance of the water actually spraying up from it.

After this we felt we had seen enough tourist sights for one day, so decided to continue on to Dunedin.

mumsue says:
Milford sound brought back lots of good memories, but we never saw dolphins, you are so lucky. Don't get blown away! x
Posted on: Jan 28, 2008
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This way home.
This way home.
Jacks Blowhole
Jacks Blowhole
A bit windy!
A bit windy!
The ugliest church we have ever se…
The ugliest church we have ever s…
Yellow eyed penguin
Yellow eyed penguin
Petrified tree stumps
Petrified tree stumps
Stormy sunset at Curio Bay
Stormy sunset at Curio Bay
Cathedral Caves
Cathedral Caves
Cathedral Caves
Cathedral Caves
The forest walk to Cathedral Caves
The forest walk to Cathedral Caves
Purakanui Waterfalls
Purakanui Waterfalls
Bluff
photo by: Morle