Easter in the Catlins – 2-5 April by Sue Blair
Congratulations!!! First time trip leaders Rod and Jane.
After lot of organisation, perseverance and optimism for a year, they and the “Team” of 25 beat Covid 19 and had a great weekend in the Catlins. We all arrived by Friday night, regaling stories of great photo opportunities.
Saturday: Dawned fine and mild. Yvonne and I set off to Nugget Point for the sunrise and were well rewarded with lovely colour. Others visited Tautuku Beach. Our next stop was Pounawea estuary, followed by Matai Falls and Horseshoe Falls. Water flow was low but still very nice. I saw a few warblers in the bush. The “Team” went in different directions at their own leisure, but most were at the Cathedral Caves shortly after 12pm. There is only a small window to see them before the tide turns and then there is no access inside them. The height of the caves was mindboggling. They were very crowded with visitors.
Tautuku estuary boardwalk was on the agenda for sunset colours. We were early and the sandflies were there to greet us. The tide was on the turn but the crabs were visible in and around their holes. Pied Stilts were feasting on them. Some of the “Team” joined us. The tide came in and we were all rewarded with beautiful colours and reflections. It blew nor‘west all night.
Sunday: Still blowing nor‘west, we ventured to Tautuku beach for sunrise and the colour was very good. The wind was whipping the sand and the surf. Surat Bay was next on our list. We went via Pounawea estuary. The tide was full so we couldn’t access the bay but the wind was doing its work on the waves, creating mare’s tails and then crashing on the beach at the river mouth. Awesome!
To get some reprieve from the wind we went to McLeans Falls, which was also very popular with the public. We found Linley on her hands and knees, intent on capturing the fungi she had found. At the falls the water flow was great and clean. On the way out it started spitting with rain and by lunchtime, back at the cabin, it was bucketing down. Many of the “Team” had ventured south for the day.
A lovely meal at the restaurant and a good catch-up ended the day very nicely.
Monday: Cold southwest wind started the day. The “Team” members were going home or travelling further.
Thanks again Rod and Jane for a great weekend. Welcome to being trip leaders. Where are you taking us next?