The Catlins: South Island, NZ's Southern Scenic Route

View across from the java household every bit nosotros started along the Southern Scenic Route.
Spectacular views, body of body of water lions, waterfalls, lighthouses, fur seals, surfers, a hippy Rube Goldberg-style artist, penguins, a fossil forest, museums, proficient food, fifty-fifty Niagara Falls (!) - what to a greater extent than could you lot want?

I'll say you lot what: More fourth dimension than I had to explore the Catlins together with somebody else to crusade then you lot don't girlfriend a thing. Well, 1 out of 2 isn't bad. I was amongst roughly members of the Society of American Travel Writers together with nosotros had a driver/guide, a perfect combination.

Count the shades of light-green if you lot can.
We stopped for a photograph opp. at the Kaka Point overlook amongst its wild together with windblown vistas sporting to a greater extent than shades of light-green than Webster's has names for.

Then it was on to Nugget Point together with its picturesque lighthouse.

Walk if you lot want.
Tip: Don't bother to walk to the lighthouse; nothing's in that location that you lot can't view from the overlook except a few boulders - the nuggets - scattered beyond the mainland.

Again, to a greater extent than spectacular vistas. The penguins, seals together with body of body of water lions were out angling but in that location were plenty for our professional person photographers to focus on.

Owaka Museum is small-scale but packs a lot of info.
Owaka Museum - Wahi Kahuika, the Meeting Place -  inwards Owaka is a small-scale but real good done museum that brings you lot insight together with anecdotes into the lives of the characters who settled this area, from the indigenous Maori to the fossil oil together with fall rascals together with opportunists who followed.

From the immature branches of the Rimu, Red Pine, Captain Cook made spruce beer, a remedy for scurvy.
Purakaunui Falls was a pleasant diversion from the high cliffs together with sweeping Pacific Ocean although no less photogenic.  You walk through a striking rainforest amongst ferns together with trees out of a Dr. Seuss fantasy. The divergence inwards atmosphere together with temperatures is remarkable together with sets you lot upwards for the three-tiered waterfall.

Purakaunui Falls
Tip: You'll walk 5 or viii minutes - depending on how many stops for photos or to read the I.D. information on the plants together with trees - to the falls along a to a greater extent than oft than non apartment gravel path until reaching the starting fourth dimension tier of the falls. After the 2d glimpse of the cascading falls the downward gradient is a chip steeper and  you'll run across steps (there are handrails for all but the final five) to view the falls falling amount on. I idea it was worth it.

Take 1 VW van, add together imagination together with you lot learn The Lost Gypsy Gallery.
Blair works on his wall.



































If you lot tin move past times past The Lost Gypsy Gallery en route to Papatowai, you lot haven't an ounce of curiosity. I recommend a halt to view how many wild directions the encephalon together with inventiveness of Kiwi Blair Somerville select reached.

Centerpiece of the wall.
Everything does something. Wind this 1 upwards together with the skeleton pedals the bike, the gull flaps its wings together with the propeller spins.




















Wind-up automotons, a sculpture garden amount of wry, deep together with other thoughts - there's no telling what you'll encounter. Inside the almost totally transformed VW motorbus in that location isn't a surface left untouched. The New Zealand tour guides normally don't listing it but I'd definitely set it on an itinerary. Spend a infinitesimal or an afternoon; it'll give you lot provender for thought.


Desserts are large plenty for 2 at Niagara cafe.




The one-at-a-time gate.



















The Niagara Falls Cafe is a proficient house to halt for tiffin or dinner. You'll shortly gustation why it's then busy. Portions are large together with desserts are proficient for splitting. It used to endure a schoolhouse together with the gate inwards the white picket debate was designed then that entirely 1 pupil could become through it at a time. Crafty, those teachers. There's a beautiful beach across the road.



Fossilized wood at depression tide.
The beaches at Curio Bay Fossilized Forest aren't covered inwards stiffly standing tree fossils every bit you lot powerfulness expect, but if you lot become out on the "beach" at depression tide you lot tin view the fossilized wood grain of trees that aeons of moving ridge activity select uncovered. It's 1 of the most extensive together with to the lowest degree disturbed examples of a Jurassic fossil wood inwards the world.
Scenic but slippery downward below.












Tip: It's slippery on that fossil surface together with in that location are roughly long stairs downward to body of body of water level. I chose non to gamble it but others less sure-footed did. Luckily, no 1 fell.

The tiny penguin is to the correct of the guy inwards the dark shirt.
Standing at the overlook I had neat fun watching tourists together with our photographers scramble when a yellow-eyed penguin, the world's rarest penguin, decided to become from nest to body of body of water for an afternoon snack. Careful to remain the proper distance away nonetheless anxious to learn "the coin shot," they slipped, slid together with scrambled every bit quietly every bit possible spell the hungry aeroplane totally disregarded them.

Surfers are only tiny dots beyond the surf delineate of piece of employment from the Florence Point overlook.
Tautuku Bay at Florence Point is where the surfers hang out, although the ones I saw didn't remain upwards on their boards long plenty to learn a photograph. The overlook volition give you lot the persuasion without climbing downward to the beach. If you lot select the munchies, there's a small-scale snack bar upwards at Dolphin Bay; the Hokey Pokey H2O ice cream - vanilla amongst honeyed almonds - is quite good.

The "mighty" Niagara Falls, Kiwi style, on the Waikawa River.
What well-nigh Niagara Falls, you lot ask? It's on on the Waikawa River. Here it is, named afterwards the North American giant past times roughly tongue-in-cheek Kiwi. Good on ya, mate.

The Catlins: South Island, NZ's Southern Scenic Route