Wanderlust

THE CATLINS: WAIPAPA POINT

Waipapa Point was the most farthest we got along the Catlins. We did circuit through Fortrose (the West end of The Catlins) but we did not stop as there really wasn’t mush to see at that little beach. We did stop at Waipapa Point to see the lighthouse. The lighthouse was installed at Waipapa Point after a bad shipwreck in the early 1880s. This is all outlined on an information sign at the location so if you are interested in the history you will be able to have a read about the shipwreck in depth.

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Matt and I were a bit more intrigued by the local wildlife. There was a large male fur seal and a couple of female fur seals in the area when we visited just lying in the sun. Nothing too exciting happened but it is always fun watching these massive sea mammals going about their day.  I safely watched from the dunes while Matt was a bit more daring and watched from the rocks as he hopped over them trying to find a few crustaceans, sea anemones or starfish. Sadly, he was disappointed in his efforts.

The beach itself is quite small, with a coarse yellowey-peach sand with a small shore platform that extends into the sea. It is a good place for  a picnic, or just to chill out and watch the sea birds in the area or other wildlife. While the fur seals are great to watch they need to be left to their own and viewed from a safe distance as they can be aggressively protective of their patch of sand.

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Slope Point is the next stop in The Catlins, slightly farther East than Waipapa Point. Unfortunately we did not get to see this beach as it was closed during the lambing season (September to November). This was unfortunate as I was looking forward to seeing this beach, and is one I will have to go back and visit. If you are going to do The Catlins I would suggest not doing it at this time of year for that reason. Slope Point marks the Southernmost point of The Catlins which is why I was interested in doing the walk. There is a short 20 minute walk through presumable sheep farmland. I cannot imagine this would be a difficult walk, although as not having been there I cannot confirm that.

 

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