After turning the car around on the roof of a doctor's surgery, we headed south out of Dunedin this morning with no real plan but to get to Invercargill via The Catlins.
First stop was Nugget Point and a walk out to the lighthouse. Along the way we stopped off to look at the Royal Spoonbill colony (who knew they nested on sea cliffs), and lots of sea lions and fur seals. The beach is about 70 metres below the walking track which meant two things. One, the animals behave more naturally, and two, the spotting scope really came in handy. We got to watch lots of male fur seals battling it out which was cool to see.
Next was a quick walk to the hide at Roaring Bay to look for Yellow-eyed Penguin but no luck. (A fact I may have withheld in an earlier post is that at Bushy Beach, Lil Sis never actually saw a Yellow-eyed Penguin. Read on to see how that was rectified.)
Following that we stopped for lunch at the Lumberjack Cafe in Owaka, a little town which was celebrating its 150th year.
Down the road we stopped at Purakaunui Falls. After a short and very pretty walk through the rainforest we came to the falls which apparently are one of NZ's most photographed. (Can you believe it took us a week to see our first South Island waterfall?!)
Back on the road we headed for Invercargill where we are staying tonight. It's the most southern city in NZ, with a population of 52,000.
So today we officially travelled the farthest south either of us have ever been. (My previous record was Gore, NZ and Lil Sis's was Wellington, NZ.) We went as far south as it is possible to go on mainland NZ but you know what we're like, we have to go further, so tomorrow we'll see what we can do about that.