NZ – The Catlins

– MARCH 26, 2015

After seeing the blue penguins in Dunedin (and getting our fill on chocolate), we set course through the area called “the Catlins“.  The Catlins, on the south-east cost of the south island (right on the famous Southern Scenic Route), offer a glimpse of rural New Zealand set amid native forests, fringed by high cliffs and golden beaches.  Here, you’ll find a world of waterfalls, including the tiered Purakaunui Falls, amongst the most photographed in the world (more on that later).  This spectacular coastal stretch is home to an array of marine life – sea lions, penguins and dolphins among them.  This area was custom made for AJ Schiek…you need to visit here some day AJ.

NUGGET POINT

Nugget Point provides a spectacular viewing platform with its lighthouse perched on a spur of land.

Nugget Point welcome stones

Nugget Point welcome stones

 

Nugget Point walking path

Nugget Point walking path

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point – the long sea weeds cling to the rock sides and gum up the waterway.

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point – sea lions were singing away on the rocks below.

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point beach – a yellow eyed penguin is standing in the middle of the photo if you look closely (the white speck).

 

Nugget Point

Nugget Point beach – yellow eyed penguins habitat on this beach.

JACK’S BLOWHOLE

Jack’s Blowhole was named after the Maori chief Tuhawaiki (known to European settlers as Bloody Jack).  The blowhole is 55m deep and 200m from the sea.  It formed when the roof section of a large subterranean cavern, eroded by the sea, caved in.

Jacks Blowhole welcome sign and steps

Jacks Blowhole welcome sign and steps

 

Jacks Blowhole view from the entrance to the walking path

Jacks Blowhole view from the entrance to the walking path

 

Jacks Blowhole

Jacks Blowhole

 

Jacks Blowhole

Jacks Blowhole

The water was moving pretty intensely down that hole.  Not too big of splashes, it was more of a hole in the ground than a blowhole.  I find that New2 Zealand likes to use bigger words to describe stuff that isn’t always 100% accurate.

PURAKAUNUI FALLS

Purakaunui Falls is a true icon of the Catlins.  This is New Zealand’s most photographed waterfall in the country.  It graces the cover of calendars, postcards and book covers.

Purakaunui Falls walking path

Purakaunui Falls walking path

 

Purakaunui Falls bridge

Purakaunui Falls bridge

 

Purakaunui Falls...the most professionally photographed waterfall in New Zealand.

Purakaunui Falls…the most professionally photographed waterfall in New Zealand.

McLEAN FALLS

McLean Falls is a 22m waterfall on the Tautuku River and is often described as the most spectacular in the region.  People in Dunedin specifically stated that this was one of our mandatory stops (and why argue with the locals?).

McLean Falls

McLean Falls small starter waterfall at the entrance.

 

McLean Falls

McLean Falls

 

McLean Falls

McLean Falls

 

McLean Falls

McLean Falls

Stunning scenery.  We had plans to meet Joanne (from the Claremont Castle visit) in Bluff, so we had to get back on the road.  In hindsight we should have camped in the Catlins at one of the DOC sites and spent another day in this area.  There is much more to see.

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For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.

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