A mirror blank lake and dramatic beaches

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Our road trip along the coastline of The Catlins was fantastic. This is part two of what we got to experience there. The first part with dolphins and petrified wood can be found here.

We park our campervan Ralph at a freedom camping spot not far from the sea and Curio Bay. Here we stay overnight to experience more of The Catlins over the next few days. We don’t like to stress and rather cruise around slowly to see every nook and cranny.

McLean Falls.

McLean Falls – beautiful and hard to get to

The first stop we do after Curio Bay is McLean Falls. To the waterfall it’s a 20 minute walk through a lush forest on a wide and nice path. The birds chirp and the sun peeps through the foliage. Due to heavy rain, it’s not possible to get all the way to the waterfall. A landslide has blocked the entire path. Sure, it can be dangerous, but it was several days since the landslide. Brave as I am, I climb up the side of the path and into the forest, climb over the landslide and soon reach the other side. Leanne chooses to wait below. On the other side, the trail continues and it’s not far to the waterfall.

I spend a few minutes completely alone in the forest just looking at the beautiful waterfall. Not a bad start to the day.

Lake Wilkie – a mirror blank experience

Worth a quick stop and a short walk. Lake Wilkie is perfectly mirror blank. Not the slightest ripple on the surface. Not a ring from either fish or pond skaters. It’s a magical and mysterious experience.

Florence Hill lookout. Photo: Patrik Enlund

Florence Hill – pretty views

After Lake Wilkie the road winds up a steep hill. Stop at the vantage point and look west and you will be offered a breathtaking view. So pretty.

Purakaunui falls. Photo: Patrik Enlund

Purakaunui Falls

This waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. The water falls down in stages and forms stairs of water drapes. Unfortunately when we are here it’s not so much water – then it would have been even prettier. From the car park it is only a five minute walk to get this reward.

Lunch break in Purakaunui Bay.

Purakaunui Bay

The bay with the same name as the waterfall is not far away. We drive down the small roads, over the cattle grid and into what is also a sheep pasture. We stop, taking out our camping chairs and cook lunch with grazing sheep just a few meters away.

With full bellies we stroll down the beach to look for birds and sea lions. The waves roll in with a loud noise and the blue water creates a fabulous contrast to the vertical dramatic cliffs at the other end of the beach.

Purakaunui Bay.
Art in nature at Purakaunui Bay.

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