Explore The Catlins
This region on the South East coast of New Zealand's South Island is rapidly gaining iconic status for a true off the beaten track experience with its huge diversity of extraordinary wildlife, natural wonders and spectacular scenery.
Allow a full day to make the most of what The Catlins has to offer.
At Curio Bay watch the outgoing tide reveal a 180-million year old Jurassic forest – this petrified forest represents an ancient geological phenomena of international significance - one of only three such accessible fossil forests in the world.
The coastline is rugged and the seas volatile, testament to the many shipwrecks along the Catlins coast, including New Zealand's worst maritime disaster in 1881 at Waipapa Point when 131 lives were lost. Spectacular coastal views and plummeting cliffs make for an exhilarating 20 minute walk to the lighthouse at Nugget Point. Timed right there is every chance you will see the rare yellow-eyed penguin, sea lions and fur seals while you are there.
The native bush adjacent to the coastline offers numerous short walks to small lakes and waterfalls. This untouched forest plays host to a range of native forest birds: - tomtits, fantails, tuis, wood pigeons and bellbirds.
Make the most of the day and be guided by Charles Fraser of Rural Discovery Tours whose extensive knowledge of Southland and the Catlins will enhance your experience. Charles offers a superb viewing platform from the safety and comfort of his late model SUV and will guide you to the unique places that only the locals know: www.rdtours.co.nz