The Stunning South Island Adventures 3/5

On the road again – Oamaru to Invercargill (and the Catlins)

This leg saw me skipping Dunedin, after we had to cancel the roadshow there (I returned in Feb for that!). I did stop for quick cuppa at one my favourite beaches – St Clair, to catch up with a friend, and hit the road again. It seemed like long stretches of driving but the Audible app and my endless array of books kept me entertained.

I stopped to look from afar (it wasn’t open for tours) at Dot’s Riverstone Castle – quite amazing! The restaurant in the front, is apparently equally amazing. I walked around an extensive vegetable garden where all the food is grown for the restaurant and the castle.

One area, I have sworn to return to, is the Caitlin’s. While I had heard about some of the places, most seemed to be hidden gems and I was lucky enough to one of the very few people visiting. I walked out to the iconic Nugget Point Lighthouse, which was gorgeous. The panoramic views stretched for miles. The lighthouse sat high above the rocks, named by Captain Cook, because they look like pieces of gold!

The nearby beach was the most beautiful golden coral colour, and with no-one in sight, it made this a uniquely special place to visit.

After a stint in Invercargill, presenting and training, I left as soon as possible to return to the Catlins. This time I drove in from the other end. The first stop was the very windy Slope Point, aptly named for the trees that stood no chance against the strong gusts.

Layla and I found McLeans Falls, and did yet another gorgeous bush walk. We spent the night, in an idyllic DOC camp at Papatowai. Note that this place has a population of about 30 people, and fortunately a self-serve gas station (I didn’t dare look at the price!).

The campground had access to an estuary which at the right tide, allowed for a long long walk. I wasn’t quite prepared for the also infamous onslaught of sand flies that appeared in the millions, as I hit the sand.

I missed out on seeing Cathedral Caves due to the tides, and open times, and I am positive, this magical place had much more to offer…..I will return!

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