Dan In The South Pacific 2006 travel blog

Kaka Point


Female Sea Lion

Male Sea Lions

Yellow-eyed Penguin

Evidence of a fossil forest

So after spending one night in Dunedin I think I got a basic idea of what the city is like. It is really old, full of cool buildings, and is predominately a college town. Had Dunedin been my northern holdover instead of Nelson I would have had way more fun while being in limbo up there so often. I met Lynsey in the hostel I stayed at, and we were apparently the only two people on the trip from Dunedin to Curio Bay.

The trip to Curio Bay runs through the coastal region known as the Catlins. "Bloke" was our driver and instead of a bus we got to drive around in a 4X4. This was cool because with the extra mobility we were able to go down certain roads and make stops that a bigger group couldn't make. We started by leaving Dunedin and going to Nugget Point. It has a great view and hosts a fur seal colony. Great coastal photos although the seals were too far to photo because they have good camouflage. After we left Nugget point we went to Surat Bay and got to see some Hooker's Sea Lions. We got really close, within about 10 meters, and I got some good photos (which will come soon). After Surat bay we continued running around the Catlins and hearing stories about the logging projects that were once in the region and hearing tons of other stories. We made our way to Curio Bay and on the way managed to rescue some Brits who stranded their camper van and saw some wild surf beaches.

At Curio Bay we went on a guided walk with a local, Denise, who has a long family history in the area. She showed us both Porpoise bay and Curio bay which are neighbouring bays near our hostel. When we got to Curio Bay we saw Yellow-eyed Penguins. These penguins are rare and there are 8 that nest at Curio Bay (which is means more penguins than people). We also saw the remnants of the fossil forest that once stood in the bay. There are no standing trees but there are many petrified stumps and a couple of petrified logs.

After the tour we went to a local cafe in a nearby place called Niagra and I had a chance to have a roast lamb dinner. I haven't done the lamb thing yet, but it was good.

(Note: I have no map point to go by so the point I plotted was a guess.)

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