Following the walk we made for Porpoise Bay, home to the world’s smallest dolphin; Hector’s dolphin
. We didn’t see them at play in the breakers unfortunately! Maybe due to their size?? Onward to Curio Bay (just around the corner from Porpoise Bay!). This amazing bay is also known as a Petrified Forest, where fossilised Jurassic trees are still visible at low tide! This area was once a floodplain millions of years ago and then covered in volcanic ash and lava. Today tree stumps and fallen logs are still visible! Curio Bay is also home to a family of Yellow-eyed Penguins (not sure if ‘family’ is the correct collective term for a collection of possibly related penguins??!). We spotted dad and a young fella kicking back high in the scrub that form the rocky reaches of the bay.
Our last port of call on the Catlin’s Coast was Slope Point, the most southerly point on South Island, New Zealand. The wind was so strong here that you could lie back and it would you (I did fall at one point when it dropped a tad...I can admit this!). The tress here have an extremely hard time of it and must have tremendous back ache!!
With the wind still on our back the road south along the Catlins Coast is beautiful, dense rainforest and ragged outcrops of rock overlooking white sand beaches that have been battered and bruised by the wild winds, rains and winters that are notorious of the region. The Wisp Range (Mts) was camp for the night; we battened down the hatches and waited for the morn. We had been lucky to get as far as the camp as the other road in no longer had a bridge, it had been washed away! With dawn came a change in the weather system, the sun shone and the clouds became those lovely fluffy ones that we have in summer (where you tell yourself that you can see elephants having tea with nuns!). We headed off on the Catlin’s walk along the Catlin River, which was swollen and alive from the previous day’s rain. The beech forest was home to fairy houses (made from mushrooms with red roofs and white dots).