Barry and I hit the road and set out to collect Ruth from Dunedin airport to begin our adventures down to the most Southern tip of NZ’s mainland… The Catlins. Bar and Ruth found the most insane Airbnb that Dunedin had to offer; greeted by a Chinese voice emanating from the automated door was just the start of it… the master bedroom is best described by the photo below. Now, in your imagination, pan 180 degrees and envision a bay window with the fanciest dining table complete with ‘lazy Susan‘ and crazy upholstered chairs. Two thumbs up from me… except when I had a flashback to an actual nightmare I had a while back featuring the mahogany staircase in the hallway. Eek!
We survived the haunted house and explored a little of Dunedin taking in the worlds steepest residential street, museum, beautiful train station and of course, sampled the famous cheese roll. The cheese roll is essentially a piece of sliced pan filled with cheddar, rolled up & grilled…. simple but tasty!
We hit the road to our main destination, Slope Point, stopping off along the way to stretch the legs. At Tunnel Beach we shocked a bus load of Muslim tourists by stripping off and jumping into the sea… Barry is sure to be featured in many of their holiday albums with his ‘jean effect’ hot pants turning many’s a veiled head.
Next stop: Nugget Point. We hit the jackpot with the weather and this place was as tasty as the name suggests. Incredible sea views from the lighthouse and we hung around here doing a bit of seal watching from our birdseye view.
After 15km of unsealed roads (shhhh… don’t tell the rental company!) we hit our destination: Slope Point! frim our farm accommodation we were a stones throw from the petrified forest at Curio bay (felled trees that turned to rock millions of years ago) and swam with a pod of hector dolphins around the corner at Porpoise Beach which was just incredible! They came so close! I even saw a baby one jump completely out of the sea which made me squeal with delight!
On our quest to find a shop to stock up on food, we stopped off at McLean Falls which was a stunning waterfall that we managed to climb right up to and chill out for a bit.
That evening we froze our asses off at the petrified forest waiting to catch a glimpse of some penguins making their way to shore at dusk. We waited… and waited… and hopped from foot to foot… and waited some more… and then… PENGUINS! Two to be exact, just seemed to appear at rocks about 20metres away! We couldn’t get too close as you’ve got to be careful not to startle them or prevent them from getting to their nests but sighting them in their natural habitat was really special.
We said goodbye to Ruth as she caught her bus back to Dunedin and off Barry and I headed onto the next part of our roadtrip: Queenstown.
Woah… think that’s the longest post yet! Enough words… here come the photos of what we saw.