Cathedral Caves, McLean Falls, Petrified Forest – Exploring Curio Bay

Cathedral Caves, McLean Falls, Petrified Forest – Exploring Curio Bay

Cathedral Caves, McLean Falls, Petrified Forest – Exploring Curio Bay – Becoming Kiwi Day 11

Day 11 of our trip started with Sunny getting up early to try and catch the sunrise. There was still a lot of cloud cover and rain from the storm system that Cyclone Gita brought in overnight and as a result, we did not get as many great sunrise pictures as we had hoped. The first shot was taken at porpoise bay, which is where the small Hector’s Dolphins often come to swim and play in the waves. We unfortunately did not see any on our trip, but it is just another reason to go back!

porpoise bay curio bay sunrise picture

Sunny woke up early to catch the sunrise over Porpoise Bay, which is right next to Curio Bay. Unfortunately it was still pretty cloudy from Cyclone Gita, but he was still able to capture a few cool shots

After the sunrise shots and a quick breakfast, we made our way to the Cathedral Caves .  They are in the Catlins area, and are only open for a few hours each day for people to explore. You can only explore them during low tide, because it is way too dangerous to be on the beach during high tide. We got there around 10:30am and spent almost 2 hours walking around on the beach and in the caves.

 

Cathedral Caves, McLean Falls, Petrified Forest - Exploring Curio Bay

One of the larger caves. They’re not deep, and you can’t ‘explore’ them, but its still pretty neat

cathedral caves new zealand silhouette picture

Jess enjoying the scenery at the Cathedral Caves

picture of cathedral caves new zealand silhouette

Sunny enjoying the view!

moss lichen growing on rocks cathedral caves

Its a very wet & rainforesty area. Lots of moss/lichen growing on the rocks

After we checked out the caves, we made our way over to the McLean falls.

McLean Falls new zealand entry signpost

McLean Falls

McLean Falls on the Tautuku River in Catlins Forest Park

Selfie at the McLean Falls on the Tautuku River in the Catlins Forest Park

Picture of McLean Falls on the Tautuku River in Catlins Forest Park

McLean Falls on the Tautuku River in Catlins Forest Park

long exposure picture of McLean Falls on the Tautuku River in Catlins Forest Park

McLean Falls

After checking out the waterfalls and a lunch stop at the Whistling Frog Cafe, we made our way back to Curio Bay to check out the petrified forest.  The whole area around Curio Bay is a pretty neat place to explore.  I definitely wish we had another full day or two with nice weather so we could check out the penguins and dolphins.

 

petrified tee forest picture curio bay

Petrified trees from 180 million years ago. This area is also the crossing patch for yellow eyed and blue penguins who make their nests close by on shore

yellow eyed penguin curio bay

We spotted one of the yellow eyed penguins! They are one of the rarest penguins in the world!

Curio bay views stormy weather

It was another cloudy/rainy/cool day as we still felt the effects of Cyclone Gita

curio bay views water rocks

Cathedral Caves, McLean Falls, Petrified Forest – Exploring Curio Bay

 

All in all it was a pretty fun day, despite the weather not being the greatest.  We had planned on going back to the petrified forest area around sunset to watch the penguins waddle up from the ocean to their nests on shore, however the weather was just a bit too nasty. Cyclone Gita did not do a lot of damage in New Zealand, however it did bring some pretty wicked weather. We ended up just hunkering down in our little cottage, drinking wine, eating chocolate and watching a few movies.

 

You can see the rest of our trip here:

Exploring Auckland – Day 1

Driving The Coromandel Peninsula – Becoming Kiwi Day 2

Bay Of Plenty The Hobbiton Movie Set – Becoming Kiwi Day 3

Hobbiton Movie Set Evening Banquet Tour

Driving Around The North Island – Becoming Kiwi Day 4

Castlepoint Lighthouse Sunrise Lake Ferry Sunset

Alpacas in New Zealand – Becoming Kiwi Day 6

Sunrise Alpacas & Yealands Winery – Becoming Kiwi Day 7

Exploring Christchurch – Becoming Kiwi Days 8 & 9

Driving From Christchurch to Dunedin to Curio Bay – Becoming Kiwi Day 10

Driving To Queenstown – Becoming Kiwi Day 12

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