16 March 2017

An Old Indian, Ancient Trees & A Sea Cave - To Curio Bay

Location: Curio Bay, New Zealand

' We Saw An Old Indian  & Some Really, Really, REALLY Old Trees '

We've come as far south as you can on mainland New Zealands' South Island ...

... and, Invercargill was just a town we had to drive through to get here. 

A brochure told us about this place, we needed groceries and supply and had the time to stop in. The World's Fastest Indian is on display at E Hayes Hardware Store . Remember the movie, starring Anthony Hopkins

For my riding friends ... Tom, Gerry, Gord, Bob, Rick, Mark, Don & Doug.

Waipapa Point
The original Maori name Waipapapa means 'shallow waters'. There wasn't a lighthouse at Waipapa Point in 1881, but there is now. The SS Tararua ran aground on a reef here and 131 of 151 passengers died; it was New Zealands' worst shipwreck.

Take a close look folks ... this is the endangered New Zealand Sea Lion (Whakahao)  

... the old bull had the beach to himself and there is certainly no risk of him endangering himself out.

Slope Point 
This is the most southerly point of land on the South Island of New Zealand

And ... for those of you that are interested, I did a quick calculation ... the 'as the crow flies', distance from Slope Point NZ to Bath Ontario CA (our hometown) is 15,040 kilometres

We're still a very long way from home!

Looking southeast off Slope Point to the Foveaux Strait


These seabirds were diving and feeding from a large school of small fishes a few 100 feet from the shoreline.

Our camp for a couple of nights was adjacent to this bay.

Curio Bay (Tuma Toka)
This photo is taken from above. Look closely and you can see fallen tree trunks.

The Maori words tuma toka translate to 'hardened wood' or 'stumps of wood'.  

This is an ancient geological petrified forest site of international importance that dates back 180 million years to the Jurrasic Period ... 

 ' Think about that, just for a Moment. '

Archeologists have determined that the fossilised trees embedded in the coastal bedrock are genetically very similar to the present day kauri and matai lie trees in the area.

' I have always liked to touch old things and to feel their presence for a short time. I was privelaged to have that same, wonderful, tangible experience with these old trees ... I wanted to imagine what 180 million years of time must have been like for them, but when I touched them, I was reminded instead, of how truly insignificant our time is! '

Trunks and Stumps ...

Cathedral Caves
At 199 metres in total passage length and greater than 30 metres in height, this is one of the finest examples of a sea cave in New Zealand and is currently one of the 30 longest known in the world. This one originally started as 2 caves that eventually joined at the back to form a single cave, nearly twice as long. 

The walk to the caves is a 1 kilometre 'down' through pododcarp and kamahi forest to Waipati Beach. Some of the geological rock features, colours, patterns and designs near the cave entrances were quite beautiful. Cave light can be intriguing.

McLean Falls

Upper falls (left) is the tallest in The Catlins at 22 metres. Lower section (right) is equally impressive.

Saw a Tui ... what a beautiful bird, what a beautiful song. 

Upper photo is stock. 

To get the lower photo we interrupted a courting session and had to chase the breeding pair through the trees ... shame on us!
Follow us by opening TRAVEL MAP 2016/2017 on the right sidebar ([view larger], zoom +/-, pan around).   
Click on any photo (some stock) in this post to launch a slideshow gallery of all the photos. 
Wikipedia provides some content. 

Crusty & Wry ... 

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