Curio bay: Catlins forest park


Champagne and coffee for breakfast!

Champagne and coffee for breakfast!

I was lucky enough to be whisked away by Mark, as a wedding anniversary present, and a welcome home (again!) present On Friday. I had previously driven through the Catlins on my way back from collecting the Visa from Dunedin, but it really was just a drive through. This time I got to stay and appreciate the sheer, untouched beauty.

We stayed in a delightful little self catering cabin overlooking a beautiful lake. It was close to curio bay, home of the rarest penguin in the world, the yellow eyed penguin. Sadly we were not fortunate enough to see one, although we later found out that it was perhaps our timing, as they come ashore at dark, and we had gone again by then!

The local museum was as always, an eye opening learning experience. It takes a European a while to get used to for sure. As many nations are, New Zealand are proud of their history. The thing is, their history isn’t that old and because England has so much more by comparison, the things that you find in New Zealand museums are not the things that you are used to seeing.

We were looking for somewhere for lunch, and were directed to a small place, the only cafe in the area: Niagra Falls cafe. The food was truly wonderful, and look what we discovered!? The owners sister was a Paralympian, and won a gold, silver and a bronze in London last year! How mad is that, right in the middle of nowhere I find some Olympic medals, from LONDON!?

Tarmac unimportantOn the way home the next morning we drove along the coastal road. I say ‘road’ in the loosest possible sense because the road, as I think have mentioned before, didn’t always have Tarmac!

imageWe stopped at Waipapa point and lighthouse on the way, and what a find. Hiding on the dunes was a family of sea lions! The sign tells me that New Zealand native Sea lions are among the rarest in the world too! A wonderful break, a lovely surprise, and yet another reminder why I live here!