After leaving Wanaka I drove first to Invercargill and then to the Catlins!
From Invercargill to Curio bay
The only detour that seemed interesting before the Catlins at Invercargill is Bluff to take the mythical picture of the signals. This is the end of Route 1 which starts at Cape Reinga. Apart from that, not much tourist interest in the area (and especially when the weather is not good …).
First stop in the Catlins to meet some sea lions! Some play in the water (while we wait in the rain ☂). But none come on the beach to be admired.
This is the southernmost point of the South Island (and no it’s not Bluff!). I was there in the rain and apart from the picture of the panel there is really nothing to do! Maybe the view is better under the sun 🤔.
If you’re lucky, here in the Catlins you’ll be able to swim for free with Hector’s dolphins! The rule is: put yourself in the water staying away. They are the ones who must come to you if they want to, and not you who have to approach them. In theory here you can also see yellow-eyed penguins. The problem is that access to the beach is possible for humans and therefore, as they’re shy, they dare to come less. To know that unlike blue penguins they do not wait for the night to get out of the water! Rather around 17h in November. In short, the long hours in the cold will not have been rewarded this time 😥.
One of my colleagues kindly lent me her country house in Papatowai. And it was perfect because there is no free camp in the area and the weather was not really at the top of the top…
After a few minutes walk you can admire this waterfall! With the rain of the last days she was really full of water and does not necessarily look like postcards that can be found!
It’s by doing the “Kings Rock Track” that I found full of paua! The classics but also the golden! The walk was a little mudy but it was worth it 😉.
A short walk will take you to this beautiful waterfall! This one is really beautiful and perfect for beautiful photos 😊.
Sea lions and penguins
I could see very closely sea lions (a couple each time but not very close to each other). At first in Surrat Bay (it took a lot of walking on the beach to get to them). Then at Cannibal bay! The first couple was just sleeping in the sun 😅. While the second was well awake and even doing their show for their audience 😉.
Yellow eyed penguins
The first time I had the chance to see one was at Roaring Bay! It took me more than 1h30 waiting (folded in half) to see him out of the water. At first I wondered what was in the water and then I was able to announce to all the observers around me “there is 1!” He was alone, right in front of the observation cabin (but still a bit far from us). He took his time to go hide for our greatest pleasure 😍. My back could no longer I did not wait to see others. And then my colleague was waiting for me for dinner at Dunedin.
Just before it was time to go see the penguins I wandered to the Nugget point lighthouse. The view is really superb!!
Quelle belle promenade en compagnie des lions de mer et la baignade avec les dauphins doit être magique . Merci pour ce partage qui fait rêver !