Susan ar Strae 2009 travel blog

Southern Scenic Route

The Catlins Described in Poetic Terms

Nugget Point Beach, Southern Coast, NZ

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Southern Coast, NZ

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Southern Coast, NZ

Manicured fields surrounded by tall trees - windbreakers - Southern Coast, NZ

Nugget Point, Southern Coast, NZ

Me at Purakaunui Waterfall, Southern Coast, NZ

Purakaunui Waterfall, Southern Coast, NZ

After almost a week in Dunedin, it was time to leave and head south along the so called Southern Scenic Route which takes in the entire southern coast of the South Island and a famous national forest reserve called the Catlins. The route runs from Dunedin to Te Anau in Fiordland - 440km in total.

Half an hour out of town and we took a walk along Ocean View beach walkway. The whole coast is covered in beaches quite similar to the ones you would find in Donegal at home. With the morning sun out, the day was warm. Come afternoon the sun disappeared - not to return but we managed to take in a few sights along the way.

Nugget Point is a rugged peninsula - host to a light house and also a small yellow-eyed penguin colony. Again we stopped in one of the viewing shelters but our patience was not rewarded. These penguins are highly solitary and shy and only come up the beach in ones so it is a game of chance.. Further on we came to two waterfalls - Purakaunui and Matai which are shrouded in beech and green ferns.

We made it to Curio bay near Waikawa by nightfall and camped amidst HUGE flax. Interesting - if a little short on facilities - campsite close to this beach. The new table came into its own as we ate in the van and it all worked splendidly.

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