Curio Bay, Catlins

Curio Bay, Catlins

An ancient Petrified Forest lies on the shore of Curio Bay. Dating back to when dinosaurs romanced the Catlins area of New Zealand. It’s one of the world’s least disturbed examples of a Jurassic period petrified forest. Some 180 million years old. This is the view from the lookout. If you look to the right of the frame you can see some white stairs which take people down to sea level. Here you can get up close to the hundreds of fossilised tree stumps with their growth rings.

Tautuku bay

Tautuku bay

Driving along the Chaslands Highway we came over a hill to see this coastal landscape. This is the view from Florence Hill Lookout. From here to the Tautuku Peninsula it’s about 2 kilometres. It’s the only place left on the east coast of the South Island where native forest fully covers a catchment from hill-tops to sea. The ancient forest with trees over 1,000 years old and grows right down to the seashore.

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

The great thing about lighthouses is the dramatic coast that usually surrounds them. Nugget Point is one of the most iconic landforms on the New Zealand coast. It’s home to many seabirds including penguins and gannets as well as a large breeding colony of fur seals. This photograph was taken in the evening from the viewing platform next to the lighthouse.

Nugget Point Lighthouse

Nugget Point Lighthouse

This is New Zealand’s most southern lighthouse. Built in 1870 it sits on the dramatic Nugget Point. I’ve seen dozens of incredible photographs of this lighthouse at night. So I was keen to point my camera at it. Sadly it was a cloudy night as the stars a much more visible in this remote part of the country. Without climbing up the cliff side it was impossible to capture the lighthouse with the nuggets (rocky islets) behind. I stuck to the path but you can see one of these nuggets in the water to the right of the lighthouse.