Up first thing in the morning to make the most of a great day of exploring in the Catlins.
1st stop, Balclutha (1hr from Dunedin). Called into the local I-site, very helpful & friendly and gave us a great map as well as some great advice.
Balclutha – Kaka Point (20mins) for our 1st walk to the Nugget Point Lighthouse.
The lighthouse was built in 1869, 40min return walk with great scenery and keep your eyes open for the wildlife: fur seals, sooty shearwaters, shags, royal spoonbills & yellow eyed penguins (penguins best seen just when it is starting to get dark).
Next we were off to Jack’s Bay to see the famous Jack’s Blowhole -featured in the NZ movie ‘Two Little Boys. Best visited at high tide & an onshore wind. 1hr return walk.
(Closed during lambing season Sept-Oct)
Time to stop for a picnic at Pounawea. Jan’s Grandparents owned a batch here when she was a child and spent many a happy holiday catching cockabillies off the jetty, watching her big brothers boating (with mixed success) and going for lots of walks through the bush & beaches with her extended family.
Papatowai – The Lost Gypsy Caravan
This quirky wee place is not always mentioned in the guide books but is definitely worth a visit!
The Catlins legendary ‘Organic Mechanic’ Blair Somerville of Papatowai, maker of bazar automata that slide, squark, squirt and swing when pushed or wound. The caravan is full to the brim with weird & wonderful inventions. Next door is ‘The Little Rocket Caravan Café’.
(Open 6 days a week 10-5 / closed on Weds).
After visiting 1 Lighthouse, 1 Blowhole, 1 Gypsy Caravan & 4 waterfalls with lots of great walks in between it’s time to head back to the Yellow House.
We weren’t able to visit the Cathedral Caves as this can only be done at low tide… a good excuse to make a return trip to the Catlins. So much to see, very busy & enjoyable day!
Jan & Mike