Saturday, December 31, 2011

51: The Catlins

Him Outdoors was able to get cover for a couple of days between Christmas and New Year, which meant we could get away. Still on crutches, I can't hobble too far, so long walks were out of the question, but I did want to see the sea as it alwyas has a beneficial effect on my mental state, so we headed down to the Catlins.

The Petrified Forest at Curio Bay is impressive, and even if I couldn't clamber down to the slippery rocks, I could photograph them from above and enjoy them with an icecream in hand.

And this is Porpoise Bay where the curve of the bay and the sloping sand makes a great spot for family play, or for bathing an injured calf muscle in the shallow waves.

Slope Point is the southernmost point of mainland South Island and, although we visited on a perfectly clear and still sunny day, the angle of the trees proves that this is rare.

The lighthouse at Waipapa Point was built after New Zealand's worst civilian shipwreck. In 1881 the SS Tararua was shipwrecked just off the coast with the loss of 131 lives (all but 20 of the people on board perished). At a result of the inquest, the Court of Inquiry recommended that a lighthouse be built here and also that lifebelts had to be provided for every passenger on board. This came into force in 1882 and still remains as a legacy of NZ Maritime law.

The lighthouse itself is gorgeous, and the setting sun in the overcast sky produced a band of light that seemed to work its way down the cylindrical body. I couldn't help but take lots of photos!

This wee cemetery at Tararua Acres marks the site where some of the bodies are buried. It's a peaceful spot to rest lulled by the sound of the waves, the lapwings and the sheep.

I was able to do a short stumble of a walk around Waipohatu Forest (the sign said suitable for wheelchairs so I reckoned I could limp around the half hour circuit), with its beautiful greens and cooling earth smells.

I love the unfurling fronds of ferns, so took several photos of those too - particularly these ones which look to me as though they are standing around having a meeting. I can't help but wonder what they are discussing!

1 comment:

  1. Love your shots of the ribbony rocks at the water's edge-so unusual! The fern heads are great, too, aren't they?? I went crazy taking pics of them in Hawaii; the boys just rolled their eyes when I would pull up midhike to get a shot of *yet another fern*. Know I would have a grand old time in NZ with my fancy cam. One day soon, but maybe after The Hobbit frenzy dies down.