In early March I was in The Catlins with a gaggle of 19 girls on one of the more exciting “Hen’s Parties” I’ve been to but totally appropriate for adventuring females arriving from all corners of the world!
Its mystical name suits its remote and wild location, right at the verrrrrrry bottom South Eeast corner of the South Island.
We had decided to book 3 houses in Curio Bay, something I had done before, however, in contrast to the last visit, the weather was amazing. The area is so exposed its not uncommon to be party to huge seas, dark skies and stormy squalls…which is why we couldn’t quite believe our luck! We enjoyed a pristine few days with glowy evenings, dancing under the stars and a full moon on the beach, surf lessons, rambles, whiskey and BBQ’s.
Curio Bay kind of drags you back to what coastal getaway’s used to be. There is no cell phone coverage or shops. Just a row of old (and some new!) houses crouched low on the sand dunes looking out to sea where dolphins regularly play the fool. There are penguins on the point, blowholes, a camping ground, a jurassic era pertrified forest, kilometres of curving beach and home to our favourites; Catlins Surf (we also booked our accommodation through these guys and were VERY well looked after!)
If you are are looking for somewhere isolated, plugged straight into its environment and lacking the distractions of anything but the beauty of what is in front of you – then The Catlins should be at the top of the list!
All photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
Of course you will just have to visualise the “rest” of the party!