Date of Adventure: 9 April 2021
Though the plan was to go up the east coast to Dunedin and spend a couple days there, our unexpected tickets into the Milford Track and interest in the Catlins had shortened our time. As such, we set our easternmost point to be the lighthouse at Nugget Point!
On our way, we had to do a double-take as we were driving along, quickly turning the van around to see it again: Teapotland!
We were racing the daylight a bit, hoping to get to the lighthouse at sunset for some nice light in the skies. Unfortunately, other beautiful landscapes kept showing up, requiring us to stop for photos!
The final nail in the ‘sunset’ coffin was a stop to watch for Yellow Eyed Penguins, in a specially constructed wildlife viewing bunker just outside Nugget Point. The 6 of us that were in there waited with baited breath for a little waddly bird to hop out of the ocean. We didn’t see any in the 15 minutes we were there.
Any warm sunset colors had already come and gone, but our mission to the east wasn’t done yet. We power-walked out to the cape, hoping to catch the last blue light of the fading dusk.
Waves crashed on the large sea stacks below, and we could hear sea lions roaring as they sat on the rocky shoals.
Though we didn’t get the full ‘sunset’ experience, it was possibly better: we got the platform to ourselves, as all the other tourists had already left!
We headed back to the van, and discovered that the Nugget Point car park is apparently the place to go to smoke in your car with your friends. Two cars full of teens peeled away as we were packing the van back up. Now you know!
Next up we will be returning through the Catlins and seeing a feature that’s been elusive to us for 7 years: Cathedral Cave! Stay tuned!
–Cameron and Kadi