Curio Bay Catlins New Zealand

Corio Bay 1
The rocks on the shore are actually an entire petrified forest

Coordinates: 46°39′44.44″S 169°05′52.52″E

Located near the southern end of New Zealand‘s South Island, Curio Bay is a coastal embankment best known as the site of a petrified forest some 180 million years old. It also hosts a yellow-eyed penguin colony, arguably the rarest of penguin species, with approximately 1600 breeding pairs in the extant population. The area is home to the endemic Hector’s Dolphin, and Southern Right Whales have also been observed offshore. Curio Bay is one of the major attractions in the Catlins.


Curio Bay was my favorite place in the South Island of New Zealand. I lived at Bluff and worked at Invercargill, and almost every weekend my car would head to the Catlins and Curio Bay where I stayed overnight at the Caravan park right on the cliff overlooking the Bay. It was very peaceful and beautiful and often the Hector’s dolphins would be playing in the surf.

The rocks on the shore are  an entire petrified forest, and walking along there seeking the small life that was left behind by the tides was a walk into a past, and above on the highest Point, every Sunday a Church sand songs to the Sea.



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