The Catlins to Invercargill

The stupid website decided to eat my blogpost so I have to do this all over again. Not impressed.

Anyway, after breakfast at the Guesthouse and being assured that the sunshine we woke to was fantastic weather, we set off in the direction of Invercargill.

Our first stop was outside Papatowai for a couple of photos.

Views from Lookout near Papatowai

Near Papatowai

Next stop was the McLean Falls. We stopped in at the Frog Cafe first for a pitstop and coffee each, though. The track to the McLean Falls was through beautiful, photogenic rainforest. The falls themselves were very tall and quite accessible…to others! We didn’t go climbing the rocks to get close, though quite a few others did.

McLean Falls Track

McLean Falls Track

McLean Falls

McLean Falls

McLean Falls Track

We drove on to the Petrified Forest and Curio Bay. This is quite interesting – the rocks on the beach are all part of a rainforest from 170 million years ago. There’s a lone penguin sitting on the beach too. Without a zoom lens, the penguin is very difficult to discern.

Petrified Forest at Curio Bay

Petrified Forest at Curio Bay

Petrified Forest at Curio Bay (with penguin)

Petrified Forest at Curio Bay

Opposite the Curio Bay beach is a living forest, which looks very interesting. We didn’t go in though.

The woods across the road from the beach

We drove to the Curio Bay camp ground to get to the headland for some more pictures of the area. Very beautiful.

Petrified Forest at Curio Bay

Petrified Forest at Curio Bay

Petrified Forest at Curio Bay

Petrified Forest at Curio Bay

Petrified Forest at Curio Bay

It was getting on to lunch time by now and Robbie, our host last night, had recommended a fish and chip van back in Waikawa, so we went back there for some delicious fish and chips. The van is directly opposite this historic church of St Mary’s.

St Mary's at Waikawa

On our way to Slope Point we drove past this ruined farmhouse which I felt the need to photograph.

On the way to Slope Point - the southern-most place in NZ

Slope Point is the southern-most point of New Zealand. It had sheep. And more windswept trees.

Slope Point - the southern-most place in NZ

Slope Point - the southern-most place in NZ

Slope Point - the southern-most place in NZ

We drove on to Invercargill and checked into our hotel.

As an aside: don’t use OSMAnd offline navigation app for navigation. It will send you all over the place and out of the way by miles. Three times we’ve tried to use it, and three times it’s sent us off in the weirdest directions. My sister ended up having to navigate us to our destination each time.

After unpacking the car, we headed off to Bluff for some oysters, views and dinner. We got 2 out of 3. There’s a shop for oysters on the way into town, which we stopped at (after driving to the other end of town and back) for a dozen oysters. They were $22 for a dozen and came in a little plastic tub. I had expected them to come on their shell, so was quite surprised!

We drove to Stirling Point, at the other end of Bluff again, and parked outside the lighthouse to eat our oysters.

Bluff Oysters. Delicious. Weird because I had expected them on a shell.

And then wandered down to the point.

Bluff Lighthouse

near Bluff Lighthouse

near Bluff Lighthouse

near Bluff Lighthouse

near Bluff Lighthouse

The restaurant we’d chosen for dinner was here but was holding a function and was closed to the public, unfortunately. So we drove to Round Hill Lookout for some 360 degree views. Very nice!!

Views from Round Hill Lookout

Views from Round Hill Lookout

Views from Round Hill Lookout

Views from Round Hill Lookout

Views from Round Hill Lookout

Views from Round Hill Lookout

Views from Round Hill Lookout

Since we couldn’t eat where we’d hoped to, we decided to just drive back to Invercargill for a cheaper dinner. We ate at the Red Devil Burger Bar and had a burger and a beer each for about $20 each. The food and beer were both very good.

We walked back to the hotel and checked out the lounge, since our room doesn’t have one, but it wasn’t very enticing, so we just went back to our room.

A Slideshow of pictures from this day is here at Google+

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