The Catlins

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The Catlins is a wonderfully enchanting area stretching along the south-eastern corner of the South Island. It is often bypassed via faster routes between Dunedin, Invercargill and Fiordland, however, if you have time on your hands and want to experience natural New Zealand at its finest then a wander through the Catlins is well worth it. Inland, the landscape is dotted with far more trees and sheep than humans, whilst the coast is a heady mix of sweeping golden beaches interspersed with rocky outcrops and interesting geological formations. This area is a treasure trove of waterfalls, sea caves and breath-taking views, and is also where you will find New Zealand’s most southerly point – Slope Point.

The Catlins is particularly well known for its variety of birdlife, with large tracts of unspoilt rainforest offering a haven for New Zealand’s native birds such as the tui, bellbird, fantail and rare mohua. The forest is also a botanist’s dream with many of the country’s native tree and fern species found here. On the coast, New Zealand sea lions and fur seals can often be seen lounging on the beaches and Hector’s dolphins frolicking in the waves. If you’re lucky you may also see the rare yellow eyed penguins at their nesting sites or keeping a wary eye out from the water. Bring a camera and binoculars and lose yourself for a while in this wonderful natural environment.

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