We took the very windy scenic highway south from Te Anau to the very bottom of New Zealand. The drive really wasn’t that scenic, but we made it to Bluff at the very bottom to take a quick picture of the iconic signpost.
We continued to our next stop, Curio Bay in the Catlins. We made our way to camp and were just in time to see Yellow-Eyed penguins come into shore, just outside of our camp! We headed to the beach to find that one had already arrived. Slowly over the next hour or so we saw 4 more arrive. This was a very small colony but was so neat to see. Many places along the east coast charge between $50 and $100 to view the penguins, but we got to see them for free!
The next day we continued into the Catlins, stopping at McLean Falls and Purakanui Falls for the short walks in to see the 2 very different falls.
We also walked out to the Nugget Point Lighthouse, one of the oldest lighthouses in New Zealand. This was also the spot for viewing more fur seals out along the rocks. Be sure to bring binoculars if you venture out there, as the rocks full of seals are pretty far out. We stayed in Kaka Point for the night, which was very nice despite the name.
The next morning we began heading up the east coast and made a few stops along the way. Our first was in Dunedin. We walked around the town and contemplated doing a brewery tour at Speight’s. We found it was cheaper to go to the attached pub and try a tasting platter of 8 beers, so that’s what we did!
We then made our way to the Cadbury Factory where we paid $5 to do a self guided tour and get a couple goodie bags of chocolates. The chocolates were quite tasty!
From there we happened upon a museum and decided to take a look. The Settlers museum was huge and another amazing free museum!
From there we headed to Oamaru, a very cool little city, where we spent some time in the Victorian Precinct. They had some great shops and really cool old buildings. We also hit the Whitestone Cheese Factory where we picked up some snacks before heading just out of town to our campground. This was another great leg on our New Zealand tour!