Wednesday, 15 January 2014

My Catlins road trip

In my last two posts I wrote about beautiful Dunedin, New Zealand, where I headed for a week's holiday to visit my niece at the end of September last year. While Bethany was busy with classes, I hired a car for a couple of days to see a little more of the wonderful countryside and the gorse-covered hills I had glimpsed on my drive from the airport.
It was a bit of a toss up which direction I would head, but I decided to follow the Southern Scenic Route south. The road led through a region known as the Catlins, which features idyllic countryside and spectacular coastal scenery, with picturesque bays, lighthouses and wonderful wildlife.  
My aim was to get to Invercargill on the first night, and from there, take the ferry for a day trip to Stewart Island. As I headed south, I couldn't have asked for better weather, and I was blessed travelling as I was in early Spring: it was lambing season.
First photo stop was the beachside township of Brighton, about 20 km southwest of Dunedin, and from there it just kept getting better.


Otokia Creek

Taieri Mouth

The coastal road is bookended by two lighthouses: Nugget Point in the north, and Waipapa Point in the south.
Nugget Point

First glimpse of the distant lighthouse at Nugget Point

I just loved the bumblebees on the Pride of Madeira Echium candicans

Roaring Bay

Tautuku Bay
All good things must come to an end, and the weather didn't smile on me quite so kindly when I drove back through the Catlins after my stay in Invercargill and my trip to Stewart Island.

It looks relatively benign in the final photos from my Catlins adventure, but it was truly bleak - windy, wet and freezing.

Waipapa Point's historic lighthouse

Hooker's sea lions

More sea lions frolicking in the shore break

Near Niagara Falls (NZ)

A forlorn chimney - all that remains of a settler's homestead

Next post we visit Stewart Island.


  1. What wonderful landscape photos....that is truly some beautiful countryside.....and you had it all for yourself to enjoy.
    Beaches not littered with sea bathers is a photographer's joy.....lucky you.
    Loved the sheep posing among the flowers too...idyllic.

    1. Yes, it really is the prettiest countryside, Virginia. We Aussies are lucky New Zealand is so close - only about a three hour flight - so I am looking forward to more adventures over that way.

  2. New Zealand must be the loveliest place. The gold colored hills, the seascapes, the agricultural ruins, all beautiful. The sheep with narcissus remind me of Easter, though I know that is another season on your side of the equator. The harbor scene with nets would be something I would photograph. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It is amazingly picturesque. These photos were taken over just two days on drive to and from Invercargill. I could have stopped the car every couple of hundred metres for a photo. And so far I've still only seen a tiny corner of New Zealand. I can't wait to return.



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