Day 7: The Catlins, New Zealand – December 2015.

Day 7 – The spectacular Catlins area, South Island – New Zealand.

Spectacular, diverse, ever-changing – we drove through beautiful rural scenes, along a rugged coast, saw a few more yellow-eyed penguins, sea lions, a couple of lighthouses, and low tide allowed us to walk among a 180 million year old petrified Jurassic forest – one of only three such accessible fossil forests in the world! All this and so much more we couldn’t fit in 😦

Nugget Point Lighthouse, built in 1869-70. A place of spectacular views, many rocky islets (The Nuggets), and much wildlife.

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM 0739-0744 Panorama_edit

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-0379-0744 panorama. ©Andrew McInnes

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000749

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000749. ©Andrew McInnes

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000754

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000754. ©Andrew McInnes

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000775

Nugget Point Lighthouse 2AM-000775. ©Andrew McInnes


To be able to view, and even walk among a petrified forest in the intertidal zone at low tide was remarkable. There are both stumps and fallen trees, petrified, with some growth rings plainly visible. This is but a sampling of the numerous specimens at Curio Bay.
Curio Bay is of international significance for its fossilised forest dating back to the Jurassic period. The tree fossils you see here are 160 million years old and the forest was alive when New Zealand was part of Gondwanaland. (source: The Catlins New Zealand website).

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000635

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000635. ©Andrew McInnes

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000631

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000631. ©Andrew McInnes

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000634

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000634. ©Andrew McInnes

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000665

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000665. ©Andrew McInnes

Petrified Forest - Curio Bay 2AM-000656

Petrified Forest – Curio Bay 2AM-000656. ©Andrew McInnes


Four images of the Waipapa Point Lighthouse. This is the site of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipwreck. In 1881 the SS Tararua ran aground on Waipapa Reef and 131 of 151 passengers and crew died. The lighthouse, built after the disaster, stands as a poignant reminder. (source: Southern Scenic Route website).

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000600

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000600. ©Andrew McInnes

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000611

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000611. ©Andrew McInnes

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000622

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000622. ©Andrew McInnes

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000616

Waipapa Point Lighthouse 2AM-000616. ©Andrew McInnes


I hope you enjoyed these images from a fascinating region of New Zealand.

Cheers 🙂

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