Tuesday, May 3, 2011


We woke up to the sound of the anchor being pulled up at 0630, got ready for the day, had breakfast at 0700, and then spent a few hours on deck enjoying the beauty of the Hall Arm of Doubtful Sound.

The blue sky had disappeared during the night, but the water remained like glass, and the reflections were unbelievable.

 When the cruise was over we got back on the bus, over the pass, and onto the lake boat & arrived back at Manapouri around 1130.

After collecting our car, we head towards the southern area know as the Catlins. We gassed up in Invercargill, then drove on the Scenic Southern Route which follows the southern coast. 

The winds were calm today, but evidently they blow long and hard as evidenced by these Catlin trees.

On the way to Curio Bay we stopped at Waipapa Point Lighthouse.

Curio Bay is known for its petrified forest on the beach and  yellow eyed penguins who come out of the ocean in the evening & return to their nests. I got the information to go to Curio Bay from a book called New Zealand Frenzy. In it the author states Curio Bay is the one place where the Yellow Eyed penguins nest and people are able to roam freely around the beach when they come in, and because of it the penguins are fairly well adapted to humans. He even has a picture of four people standing around a penguin taking pictures. We arrived around 1720 (sunset was around 1740) and  went down the deck onto the beach where there were about eight other people. A young couple that arrived just before us were stopped at the top of the beach looking at one penguin that was standing as if it was posing. We slowly walked up to it but it went into the bushes before Jim could get a picture. So we sat and waited among the petrified stumps and logs. It was getting dark, so I started back to the deck while I could still see, when Jim called out to me.

There was a small penguin slowly working its way up the beach. It kept stopping and Jim said it was too far away to get a picture, so again, I was ready to go back. Walking by the penguin got it to move so we followed it to the top of the beach. When we got back up by the bushes there were two other penguins standing out and seemingly posing like the first one we saw. Jim and another guy took some pictures, then we headed back to the deck. There was a couple standing on the deck, and when we reached the top the lady gave us a royal tongue lashing, calling us idiots,  for defying the sign that said we shouldn’t go onto the beach between 1630-1900 and for taking flash pictures. I was shocked and as we walked to the car stopped and read a hand written sign that was posted confirming what the lady said. We felt horrible and the drive back to Invercargill was pretty quiet, especially as Jim drove through the fog.

 We found a nice motel to spend the night that had SKY TV (the Kiwi satellite), free WiFi, and laundry facilities. By the time we were ready for dinner it was 1930 and Sunday night, so for our anniversary dinner we went to Burger King-Jim had a double whopper, fries, & drink, and I had a hamburger kids’ meal with a fruit cup and juice.

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