South Island Journals

The Catlins' Coast

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A September 2010 trip to South Island by MagdaDH_AlexH

The Caitlins (The Caitlins Coast) Photo, South Island, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: First part of the Southern Scenic Route, September 2010

Cathedral Caves

Attraction | "How not to miss Cathedral Caves"

Quote:
We missed one of the highlights of the Catlins' Coast, the Cathedral Caves, by sheer lack of luck and planning.

The Caves are only accessible at low tide and thus it's vital that you check for the opening hours/tide times the day before.

I am normally very much for spontaneous exploration, but this one is worth a bit of planning as the access road (a charge of 5 NZD per person applies) is opened and closed approximately 2 hours before and after low tide (but not 7.30 am or after 8.30pm).

The tide table is on the home page of their website http://www.cathedralcaves.co.nz/ for the whole year, so can be checked well in advance.

Cathedral Caves

Dunedin, South Island

Southern Scenic Route

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The best of the South"

Southern Scenic Route Photo, South Island, New Zealand
Quote:
The Southern Scenic Route is a tourist drive in the southern part of New Zealand's South Island. It takes the visitor from Dunedin on the east coast to Te Anau in the Fiordland, in a U-shaped curve that mostly follows the coast and takes in the Catlins, Invercargill, Riverton. The route is an official tourist attraction and is signposted with a distinctive, brown triangular road-mark. The full route is approximately 430 long, which doesn't take into account side detours for visiting particular viewpoints or other attractions on the way. Most of those are only a few kilometres away from the highway but some are more than 20km off. The driving time on the he Southern Scenic Route is around six hours, bu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 15, 2010

Southern Scenic Route

South Island, New Zealand

The Caitlins (The Caitlins Coast) Photo, South Island, New Zealand
Quote:
Tourism in New Zealand is a funny, double-sided thing (and by the way, if you just want the practical tip, just skip to the next section past the three stars). On one hand, it's an industry par excellence, generating close to 10% of the country's GDP, and the marketing skills applied to creating the New Zealand brand are truly awesome. There are countless operators on the ground, companies which not only provide accommodation, food and transport to the visitors, but also sell EXPERIENCE: this is added value tourist industry at its most developed and subtle; New Zealand is not full of crass resorts or theme parks, but around every corner there is a company waiting to take you f...Read More

The Caitlins (The Caitlins Coast)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Penguins and fossils"

The Caitlins (The Caitlins Coast) Photo, South Island, New Zealand
Quote:
The last spot on the Catlins Coast before we make way inland to Gore our next couch-surf is at Curio Bay. The 'curio' of the title is undoubtedly the petrified forest that fills the cove. In the mid-Jurassic period this area was covered in the woodland which apparently was repeatedly (over a period of thousands of years) covered with volcanic debris from nearby fiery mountains. This resulted in the creation of one of the most extensive and best preserved areas of fossilized forest, which now stretches from Curio Bay for several miles towards the Slope Point. The fossils are best seen at low tide, but even now, and even to our untrained eyes, the strange, brittle looking rock formations below the obser...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 16, 2010

The Caitlins (The Caitlins Coast)
Southeastern corner of South Island
South Island, New Zealand

The Caitlins (The Caitlins Coast)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Catlins' Coast: rugged beauty with sheep"

Southern Scenic Route Photo, South Island, New Zealand
Quote:
We hire a car in Dunedin and after a night in a motel in Balclutha, set off on the first leg of our Southern Scenic Route drive. This area is called the Catlins, or the Catlins' Coast and is renowned for being remote, beautiful, wild and rugged, one of the undiscovered gems of the South Island. Beautiful it is undoubtedly, which we can see even on a day that misses rain and sun, blue sky and storm clouds, downpours and rainbows. As far as ruggedness goes, things are a little bit more complicated, or maybe our expectation of wild and remote ruggedness are unreasonably heightned (after all we live in the foothills of the Scottish Highlands). The Catlins are an area of rolling, green farmland...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 16, 2010

The Caitlins (The Caitlins Coast)
Southeastern corner of South Island
South Island, New Zealand

Last day on the Southland coast

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Riverton rocks Photo, South Island, New Zealand
Quote:
After a night in Gore, we drive back to the coast through the rather flat and only very mildly inspiring farmland. There is not many people, or cars; there are many sheep: but we are used to it by now. The day is beautiful, the sun blazing and for a moment, on a roundabout in Gore where signs point to Milford Sound we feel an urge to abandon the round-about route plan and go straight there. We will regret not having done that later when we embark on the Saga of Not Getting to Milford Sound, but as for now we continue our Southern Scenic Route drive, missing Invercargill (which we don't really mind) and Stewart Island (which is just a few dollars to far) and heading for Riverton and then the Fiordland....Read More