Monday, January 28, 2013

The Catlins .. and Chrystalls Beach !

The Catlins is an area on the SE coast of the South Island. No big towns, just coast, beaches, farmland, and bush (=forest). And some rather nice rocks. It takes the full force of all southerlies that blow in across the southern ocean ...

Okay, tell me which is south and which is north ...
Note that the wind was (surprisingly) not strong at this point.
This is their permanent growth position.

I started out at Slope Point. Luckily the track was open (past lambing season).

Gate to track (access across private field)
Once there I found the obligatory informational sign.

Don't think I'll go swimming

View westwards along the coast

Then I headed up towards Curio Bay ( = tree fossils in sedimentary rocks) Jurassic Forest. and Cathedral Caves.
Beach at Cathedral Caves. Entrance to caves in the 'indents'

Cave developed along a fracture / zone of
weakness in (meta) sedimentary rocks

View OUT of cave. One can only access the caves at low tide,
which happened to be at 5:30 pm when I visited.
There is only a short window (~half hour) of easy access at low tide.
This picture was taken at low tide, and you can see water is
still making its way into the cave.
View back into the cave.

I then headed north to my true destination (the Chrystalls Beach Melange - which, as I showed in my Eyre Creek paper is NOT related to the Eyre Creek Melange). But not without a stop to scope out the Owaka Teapot Garden.

The owner's house

View looking back towards the road.

And I had to stop at Nugget Point as well .... There were a bunch of seals playing around down there. Penguins come in to nest in the evening. But this was midday.

View from Nugget Point Lighthouse.

And then, en route to Chrystalls Beach I saw this novel means for extending one's gate.

Gate Extender

And finally! the Chrystalls Beach Melange!

Close-up view

in the back-beach area, view of the beach area in distance.
I of course was interested in the rocks.

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