Of course, sunny, hot days demand a trip to the beach, so last week we packed the kids up and headed south to Curio Bay. This isn't a swimming beach as such, although there's great swimming in the next bay. Instead, this was a leisurely sightseeing trip (in an air-conditioned car! Very nice in the 30+ degree temperatures).
On the way, we stopped at the Tunnel Hill walk - an abandoned railway tunnel, 246m long and pitch black. And we didn't have a torch. The minute we stepped in, all I could think of was the movie, Cloverfield, lol. DH and the kids went all the way through guided by cellphone screen light, while I kept my nephew company in the first half of the tunnel.
Very pretty. Except for the toilets. Note to the authorities - calling it a 'Vault' toilet does not disguise the fact that it's a long-drop! Thank goodness for wet-wipes and sanitising handwash!
We timed it well to arrive at Curio Bay about 5pm. As we arrived the yellow-eyed penguins were starting to come in to feed their chicks. They are quite tolerant of humans as long as you are quiet and still, don't get between them and their nests, or within 10m.
The other drawcard of Curio Bay is the Fossilised Forest. In the photo above the penguin is on a fossilised tree-stump. The straight lines you can see are fossilised tree trunks. At some time in the past (about 160 million years ago) there was a flood which knocked down the trees and covered the trunks and stumps in silt, preserving and fossilising the remains. The kids were fascinated.
Unfortunately, there weren't any dolphins while we were there although we did catch glimpses of sealions swimming out in the kelp.
We finally started heading homewards with promises of MacDonalds for dinner. Now at one point we were only 37km from Invercargill and in hindsight we should have gone to McD there. But, no, Gore will have McD we thought. Wrongly as it turned out. Nevermind, Balclutha will have one. Wrong again! Luckily, Subways has spread to all small towns so we ended up with a much healthier dinner.
It was a great day out and a wonderful end to the holidays.
(and look, Judy - not a mention of sewing, lol.)