Come and explore one of our least-known wilderness areas, hidden away in the southernmost part of the South Island. Here life is unhurried and moves in synch with nature.

Catlins Forest Park is well off the beaten track, straddling the border between Otago and Southland. It is found the Southern Scenic Route, 50 km from Invercargill and 100 km from Dunedin.

The park comprises more than 10 forests and reserves spread over a rugged landscape of parallel ridges leading inland to the highest point, Mt Pye (720m). The Catlin’s forests are unique because they have been largely untouched by animals, fires or past glacial action. They are thought to have been one of the last sanctuaries of the giant flightless moa, which died out 200 years ago. There is rich bird life in the park, and you are likely to see and hear the tui, bellbird, kaka, rifleman, yellowhead and pigeon.

Bus Pass New Zealand

The Catlins River Track leads you into a delicate rainforest ecosystem with 28 species of fern and many epiphytes, orchids and vines. The Pounawea Nature Walk on the northern side of the river, is a 45 minute loop through luxuriant native forest dominated by rimu, totara, kahikatea and southern rata.

Once you have experienced the bush, head down to the rugged cliffs, bays and sea caves of the Catlins Coast. Don’t miss Curio Bay, home to one of the best fossilized forests in the world. The rocky foreshore is a maze of stumps and trunks of ancient trees, frozen in time since the day they fell 160 million years ago. Just around the headland is Porpoise Bay, which has been adopted as a permanent home by a pod of Hector’s dolphins. Keeping them company are yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and sometimes sea lions. Other coastal highlights are the dramatic seascape of Nugget Point, and also Slope Point, which is the southernmost part of the South Island. It lies halfway between the Equator and the South Pole.

Discover this forgotten corner of New Zealand with its ‘Garden of Eden’ forests and Jurassic Park petrified trees. You won’t be disappointed.

By | 2016-11-26T18:59:28+00:00 October 7th, 2014|Forest Parks|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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