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Beach dragons and other coastal wonders at Nugget Point

Summer 12/13 roadie, day 8, part 2

For our second to last night of the trip Mike chose Nugget Point at the eastern end of the Catlins. Again he chose well and while not as fancy (or maybe just less modern) as our Curio Bay pad, Nugget Lodge was fantastic. The upstairs apartment gave us wonderful beach views out to the South Pacific Ocean.

As a bonus, we were back in range of both cellphone and 3G coverage. Through much of the Catlins you’re without either – which ain’t a bad thing.

The coastline here was more rugged and this provided a dramatic lighthouse setting as well as native habitats for seals and penguins. And on that note, after checking in we hustled back out into the car and up the road to see what we could find.

The walkway initially hugs the side of a huge steep hill before taking you along a ridge to the Nugget Point lighthouse

The walkway initially hugs the side of a huge steep hill before taking you along a ridge to the Nugget Point lighthouse

Far below the rugged rocks and beautiful water are home to NZ fur seals

Far below the rugged rocks and beautifully coloured, kelp-laden water are home to NZ fur seals

A seal nursery

Seal nursery

The lighthouse has operated since 1870 though of course now is automated

The lighthouse has operated since 1870 though of course is now automated

Meet the nuggets

Introducing the nuggets of Nugget Point

Basking seals surrounded by tentacles of bull kelp

Basking seals surrounded by tentacles of bull kelp

Seal, Nugget Point, Catlins

Just down from the lighthouse is a yellow eyed penguin viewing place

Just down from the lighthouse is a yellow eyed penguin viewing place

You're quite a distance from the YEPs here (moreso than at Curio Bay) so for any decent photos you need an enormous zoom lens

You’re quite a distance from the YEPs here (moreso than at Curio Bay) so for any decent photos you need an enormous zoom lens

Given we lacked grunty viewing equipment, and given we had penguin success at Curio Bay, we decided it wouldn’t be worth returning for the evening penguin migration from sea to land. Instead our attention turned to exploring the beach around our accommodation and partaking of beverages on our fine deck.

Looking over to the headland and lighthouse

Looking over to the headland and lighthouse

Beach at Nugget Point, Catlins

We found Puff the Magic Dragon all dressed up and gazing out to sea. Loved this guy.

We found Puff the Magic Dragon all dressed up and gazing out to sea. Loved this guy.

Beach at Nugget Point, Catlins

Trying to sneak around rocks on the incoming tide. Mike = win. Me = fail (freaked out by the piddly waves)

Trying to sneak around rocks on the incoming tide. Mike = win. Me = fail (freaked out by the piddly waves)

Old hut, Nugget Point, Catlins

Paua shell fence decorations

Paua shell fence decorations

Supertastic view from our deck at Nugget Lodge

Supertastic view from our deck at Nugget Lodge

In less than two days we’d be home and back to work. Aghh!

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I loved the old shack and the dragon

    18 March 2013
    • It was very cool to stumble across them (I may even have squealed).

      18 March 2013
  2. Nice photo essay Hayley. The dragon is wonderful (love the hat), and I want to be one of those “deeply casual” fur seals. ~James

    19 March 2013
    • Deeply casual is a good way of putting it!

      19 March 2013
  3. Great location for that lighthouse, Hayley. It all looks wonderfully wild. Trip almost over- oh no!!!

    19 March 2013
    • I do love a rugged coastline with maybe the occasional lighthouse for decoration. And it’s about this time you need to have another trip in the pipeline, to slightly ease the pain.

      19 March 2013
  4. Wonderful set of photos. I love the dragon too.

    24 May 2013

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