We headed to the town of Owaka, (the place of canoe),the main centre for farming, forestry, and the fast growing tourism in the Catlins.
It is a scenic drive to the coast to Cannibal Bay and you step back in time whilst enjoying the panorama of rolling pastureland.
The area is grazed by the cute little Romney sheep. They thrive in the Catlins where winters can be cold, wet and windy!
Before you arrive in Cannibal Bay, you will head over a rise and the view is quite awe inspiring – wind torn macrocarpa trees, old farm buildings and a sea vista that will stir your soul.
Incidentally, macrocarpa trees are a really huge coniferous tree used for shelter and wind belts in New Zealand – and you will see none so spectacular as those in the south of New Zealand’s South Island.
Park close to the beach - I was fortunate to arrive in time to see two magnificent sea lions courting and cavorting on the beach….it was late afternoon and their fluid joy and flirtation was uplifting and delightful.
Camera at ready, I snapped shots of the happy couple and then left them in peace and did a beach ramble to the rocks on the Eastern perimeter of the Bay.
The Bay is lined by New Zealand flax, native to New Zealand and Norfolk Island and was widely used by the Maori for weaving. It is widely used at our Base Camp for privacy and landscaping the park.
For the Surfing Frog, Cannibal Bay offers beach breaks with power-packed, hollow waves energised by southerly swells.
It is an exposed beach break with good surf at all stages of the tide. Rarely crowded there, unless you count the odd Sea Lion..
We headed back to Base Camp at the McLean Falls Holiday Park to download photos, have a hot shower and a magnificent Marlborough Chardonnay.
Dinner at The Frog, a good night’s sleep and prepare for our next day exploring The Catlins.
The Romney sheep breed, originally called the Romney Marsh, was first bred in the county of Kent in England. Kent is known for heavy rainfall and windy conditions, which results in lush pasture lands but rather challenging conditions for raising sheep. The Romney breed was developed for its natural resistance to foot rot and wool or fleece that remains healthy and usable in wet weather. The breed has been transported around the world and is found in many sheep-raising countries.