THE CATLINS OVERNIGHT TOUR
An unforgettable overnight tour of the Catlins is an incredibly gorgeous area located on South Island, New Zealand. This area can best be described as a charmed world of luxuriant hilly country, where the land rises from the stunning coast to the awesome inland ranges. It is a land where snaking rivers and awe-inspiring waterfalls abound. You will have a chance to experience and photograph breath-taking scenery along the spectacular coastline, which is endowed with numerous natural wonders as well as rare wildlife. This wild and heavily wooded corner of South Island is perhaps the most unsung gem of the region, and it is definitely a typical photographer’s paradise.
In this tour, you will have a chance to experience the sheer beauty of the Parakaunui Falls as well as take great shots of this natural wonder that cascades for about 20 meters, in three layers. Our itinerary starts from Queenstown, going through Garston where I can lead you to the top of the famous Nevis Valley. However, this will largely depend on the weather and if it is favourable; we can spend up to a maximum of one hour. Due to time constraints, we will not be able to drive further.
On arriving in Catlins, we will take some time to experience the renowned Nugget point, which is known for its great night photography as well as capturing Aurora Australis. We will thereafter stop to take great shots of the photogenic Parakaunui and the Mclean waterfalls. If luck is on our side, we might even be able to sample the Cathedral Caves. This will depend on whether the tide is low or not.
There are other numerous places to make stops at during the tour and take great photos, as we navigate through the beautiful scenery of the Catlins. This means that during the tour, you will have a totally new experience. At Curio Bay, situated along the famous Catlins Coastal heritage Trail, you will have a chance to experience the petrified remnants of a forest that is believed to be about 180 million years old.
The Curio Bay area is said to have been a wide and heavily forested coastal floodplain, about 180 million years ago. This was around an era popularly known as the middle Jurassic period. In this area, you will have a chance to see and photograph the unique Hector’s dolphins that usually play in the waves by the shore. At sunset, you will be able to watch the famous yellow-eyed penguins at the Petrified Forest.
The coastal sunsets and sunrises in this area are a sight to behold and you will have a chance to take great photos, both at sunrise and dusk. The following day, after capturing the picturesque scenery at sunrise, we will have a chance to watch and take great photographs of New Zealand’s unique wildlife including Hooker’s sea lions, fur seals, as well as forest birds.
There is no doubt that the Catlins is a really stunning place for an overnight photography tour. Indeed, words might not be enough to fully capture the breathtaking beauty of the coastal scenery of this particular area until you see it for yourself. I would strongly recommend spending couple of nights in Catlins if your schedule allows, so that you could enjoy the beauty of the whole area without any rush.