When it involves New Zealand, it’s not significantly onerous to go off the grid. In the eyes of the remainder of the world (I’m taking a look at you, Australia), New Zealand IS off the grid. In truth, it’s typically left off the map!
But in terms of touring round this lovely island nation on the fringe of the world, there are well-trodden trails and, nicely, not-so-well-trodden trails. The Catlins fall into the latter. At the underside of the attractive South Island, you’ll discover a rugged and memorable shoreline. Some of the nation’s most original wildlife name the Catlins residence.
Humans have occupied the Catlins for at the very least a thousand years. Named after the Catlin River, named after Captain Edward Cattlin, a whaler who settled right here, it was identified and occupied by Māori for a lot longer.
Serene and peaceable, the Catlins is the place that deserves a sluggish go to, the place you park up and keep some time.
Apart from Stewart Island, nothing stands between the Catlins and Antarctica, which typically means the climate will get wild, which I secretly love.
I like waking as much as the sound of rain on the roof. When the skies darken, harkening the arrival of a storm. It makes me consider my childhood within the South within the US with our day by day afternoon summer season thunderstorms. For me, dramatic climate has at all times evoked a sense of nostalgia.
It speaks to my introverted character and excuse to bundle up and keep inside and skim by the glow of a heat lamp. To gentle candles and hibernate. I believe the climate has a strong affect on our emotional well-being, and winter storms make me really feel relaxed.
If you’re like me and search beautiful but enjoyable locations, look no additional than the Catlins. Here you’ve the ocean, wild seashores, distinctive wildlife, historical forests, lovely waterfalls, epic climate, and never many individuals. It’s a recipe for unwinding.
Go off the grid at Beresford Heights
First, if you happen to’re going to move down south to the Catlins to calm down and unwind, you gotta head straight for Beresford Heights. You guys know that charming, off-the-grid getaways are my factor. Beresford Heights ticks all of the packing containers after which some.
Inland close to Owaka, it’s a captivating new cabin constructed 400 meters above sea stage, looking over the rolling hills of the Catlins. Tucked away on one of the best view of the third-generation Burgess household farm, you’ll be able to see how a lot love went into constructing it. Since it’s a working farm, they’ll transport you and all of your stuff in a snug ATV as much as the cabin.
Unlike many locations within the Catlins, there’s cellphone reception and wifi, so it’s tremendous straightforward to plan to get round. Not that you just’re going to wish to depart.
Did I point out the outside spa on the deck? Heaven. Go for at the very least two days, however the longer, the higher.
Get up shiny and early to search for uncommon penguins with the incredible folks at Mohua Park
Another high decide for locations to nest whereas down within the Catlins must be Mohua Park, which has tremendous cute eco cottages overlooking the rolling hills of the Catlins. Hidden amongst the bush, it’s such as you’re getting away into nature with out tenting.
Mohua Park affords 4 kilometers of personal pure strolling tracks to discover and luxuriate in.
With a ardour for wildlife and taking care of the land, Tracy and Mike love the Catlins via and thru. There are even QE11 covenants on the land at Mohua Park. They run many conservation and sustainability initiatives at Mohua Park, like trapping pests, saving power and water, even the constructing supplies, working in direction of producing zero waste, and replanting native timber.
If you get the prospect, join one in all their dawn excursions to exit to a secret spot to look at for the uncommon hoiho or yellow-eyed penguin. Considered to be the rarest penguin on this planet, the hoiho might be discovered within the Catlins by those that know the place to look.
With solely a pair thousand yellow-eyed penguins left on this planet, they’re thought-about to be in decline. The fundamental causes for the declining inhabitants are Dogs, human disturbance, local weather change, fisheries interactions, predation, and illness. Luckily DOC, Ngāi Tahu, and native trusts have been working onerous to guard the hoiho.
This work contains predator management, monitoring their nests, treating them for illness and damage, intervening to stop hunger, and restoring their native habitats.
Chase some waterfalls
For me, I at all times consider the Catlins because the land of waterfalls and rainbows. Both might be present in abundance right here.
This previous summer season was one of many driest summers I can keep in mind right here in New Zealand. Down within the Catlins, the waterfalls had shrunk in comparison with their normal thundering falls. Nevertheless, they’re simply as lovely, and it meant you possibly can stand up shut and private with them.
The showstopper of waterfalls within the Catlins is certainly Purakaunui Falls, an iconic three-tiered waterfall that you’ll possible acknowledge from Instagram. McLean Falls, Matai Falls, and Koropuku Falls are others which might be simply as lovely.
Visit essentially the most well-known lighthouse in New Zealand at Nugget Point
Along with the waterfalls and yellow-eyed penguins, Nugget Point is probably going the opposite high contender for Catlins must-dos. A wildlife reserve sorted by DOC; the views are simply unbelievable. An straightforward and flat stroll will lead you out to the headlands from the carpark. There are wonderful views alongside your entire stroll. If you pause to look down, you’ll see many fur seals enjoying within the surf, their barks echoing within the wind.
With its precarious place and good location, you’ll be able to typically spot a lot of our iconic seabirds right here, from tītī, penguins, gannets, and even royal spoonbills. Roaring Bay is residence to some pairs of yellow-eyed penguins on the south coast of the tip of Nugget Point. The greatest time to see them is within the late afternoon from a cover after they come again from being at sea all day feeding.
Like so many locations in New Zealand, the English names are nearly as lazy as you will get. This steep headland has a lighthouse at its tip, surrounded by rocky islets, aka the Nuggets. Otago was well-known for its gold rush a century in the past; I suppose the rocks reminded folks of gold nuggets, together with Captain Cook, who named them lengthy earlier than settlers arrived. In Māori it’s generally known as Tokatā.
Shipping has discovered the Catlins coast notoriously precarious. Those huge Antarctic southerly winds additionally carry some huge swells. Many shipwrecks have occurred on the headlands protruding into the ocean. The lighthouse at Nugget Point was constructed in 1869 to guard the boats working across the wild Otago shoreline.
Sitting at meters above sea stage, the lighthouse was constructed from native stone and stands slightly below ten meters tall. First illuminated by an oil burner, then diesel-generated electrical energy to central energy, it was lastly automated in 1989.
Nowadays, whereas folks flock to the lighthouse, they’re coming extra for the views past it, that are spectacular.
Go for a forest stroll
When folks consider the Catlins, they typically consider the ocean. I completely get it; the Catlins shoreline is marvelous.
But if you happen to ask me, I like the inland forest right here. So a lot of the native forests have lengthy been cleared on the South Island to make method for wide-scale farming. This space is now residence to the most important expanse of native forest left on the South Island’s east coast. The forests of the Catlins have been one of many final locations the place the enormous flightless chook, the moa, known as residence. In legend, the maeroero (wild giants) inhabited the Catlins’ forests additional inland. Even at the moment, it evokes a sense of mysticism right here.
Large and historical podocarps (hardwoods) reminiscent of rimu, matai, totara, and kahikatea embellish the decrease elements of the Catlins. One of my favourite forest walks within the Catlins is round Lake Wilkie, a bathroom/swamp residence to many native timber and birds.
Check out the ocean lions at Cannibal Bay
One of my favourite locations to search for the big lumbering sea lions that decision the Catlins house is at Cannibal Bay. Another candidate for a PC identify change, Cannibal Bay, is positioned down eight kilometers of gravel highway. Beautiful white sand meets attractive blue water, nevertheless it’s not significantly inviting for a swim until you’re feeling like swimming with the ocean lions.
At the far finish of Cannibal Bay, you’ll discover a observe main over the dunes to Surat Bay. Sea lions are frequent in each locations; simply don’t get too shut. The common rule is 20 meters distance. Keep an eye fixed out for them; they prefer to lounge even up within the dunes and canopy themselves with sand.
They’re surprisingly quick, contemplating their measurement. I do know from expertise.
The Catlins is a spot in New Zealand I don’t suppose I’ll ever tire of visiting. The Catlins are lovely within the sunshine and exquisite within the rain. It doesn’t matter the climate or time of yr. It’s at all times particular down this manner.
From the beautiful lengthy seashores to the uncrowded forests, the traditional fossils, and distinctive wildlife, the Catlins beckons all those that get pleasure from and admire nature. Southland is residence to so many epic adventures; simply ensure you put the Catlins on the record!
Have you ever been to the Catlins? Do you’ve a spot you prefer to go to by the seaside to unwind? Share!
Many because of Great South for internet hosting me in Southland; like at all times, I’m preserving it actual – like you possibly can anticipate much less from me!