David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
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Liverworks Productions
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New Zealand 2016
10/30   Right is Left
10/31   Omeru Scenic Reserve
11/01   Omamari Beach
11/02   Waipoua Forest
11/03   Mail Boxes and a Magic Orange
11/04   Cape Reinga
11/05   Ninety Mile Beach
11/06   Haruru Falls
11/07   Russell Forest
11/08   Bus and Ferry
11/09   Thames
11/11   Castle Rock
11/12   Hot Water Beach
11/13   Owharoa Falls
11/14   Thompson's Track
11/15   Rotorua
11/17   Rotorua Rain
11/18   Haku Falls
11/19   Pureora Forest Park
11/20   Waitomo Glowworm Caves
11/21   Marokopa
11/22   New Plymouth
11/25   Pukeiti Rain Forest
11/26   Boring Highway 3
11/27   Boring Highway 1
11/29   Switching Gears
11/30   Hitchhikie
12/01   Abel Tasman National Park
12/02   Rawhiti Cave
12/03   Mount Robert
12/04   Glaciers
12/05   Mount Aspiring
12/06   Milford Sound
12/07   Stirling Point
12/08   The Catlins
12/09   Tunnel Beach
12/10   Sandfly Beach
12/11   Mount Cook
12/12   Cave Stream
12/14   Long Day Home
Kayak Trip 2017

The Catlins

2016-12-08

tl;dr: Ronja and I visited a heap of points of interest including Cathedral Caves and Jack's Blowhole.

Ronja is tagging along with me today, because she is trying to get to Dunedin. She is not an early riser, so we didn't leave Invercargill until 9:30 AM or so. We had a lot of stops to make. I was thinking we'd make it to Dunedin (duh-nee-din) by the end of the day, but we didn't even get close.

We visited Slope Point, the actual southern-most point on the south island. This is about as far south as I will probably ever travel. The point overlooks a rocky peninsula. Ronja suggested we climb down to it, which pleased me, because I would have done that had I been there alone, but I wasn't sure how adventurous she was. We ended up farther south than 99% of the tourists who come here.

Next up were a few waterfalls.

Then we visited Cathedral Caves. This is privately run, and it doesn't open until low tide. For $5 you are given a map of the caves. We followed the other tourists there. Me being me, I was the only tourist with a flashlight (and I had two), so Ronja and I were able to climb farther back into the cave than anybody else. We discovered blue penguins hiding there. Everybody else was just walking by them because it was so dark. After exiting the cave I suggested we head around an outcrop and down the beach. This required tramping through water, so, again, we ended up seeing more caves than 99% of the tourists who come here. There were at least three more good-size caves down the beach, and we had them all to ourselves. We found more penguins, but Ronja wouldn't come all the way to the back where they were because the cave was infested with these big jumping bug things. (I suspect that these caves are on somebody else's private property, and thus are not included on the map, but they are on the beach and so are publicly accessible.)

We visited a few more waterfalls.

On the way to Jack's Blowhole Ronja spotted a sea lion. I never noticed it, and unless it moved it just looked like kelp on the beach. But we walked down to it, and there it was.

Ronja described Jack's Blowhole as "a big hole filled with water".

I have more points of interest to see, but by this point it was already past 6 PM, so we found a hostel in Catlins called The Split Level. It turns out one of the girls from the hostel in Invercargill had also made her way here, but she didn't see quite as many sights along the way as us.

There were a few other girls staying who spoke broken English. They asked me concerning Ronja: "Is she your daughter?" That's a first.

These trees see a little wind.


Slope Point


climbing down to beyond Slope Point


looking back toward Slope Point


The Chute below Mclean Falls


Mclean Falls


tourists entering Cathedral Caves


a penguin hiding at the back of Cathedral Cave


you would never find these penguins without a flashlight




exiting Cathedral Caves


another cave


more caves


more cave penguins








from Florence Hill Lookout


Horseshoe Falls


Matai Falls


Purakaunui Falls


sea lions


Jack's Blowhole is 55m deep, 144m long, 68m wide, and 200m from the sea.




The Split Level

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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