Day 5…. After a cold night we awoke early to witness the promised sunrise. Long-suffering had set his alarm with enough time to make his muse a morning brew, allowing her to stay warm and cosy under the covers. The sunrise did not disappoint, well worth the early rising.
Purakaunui Falls…. Twenty minute easy return walk through mature beech forest and Podocarp. The hard work of the D.O.C. To make these off the beaten places accessible to all – but not spoilt in the process – never ceases to amaze us. This particular track is also wheelchair friendly to the top viewing platform.
Walking through the dense forest vegetation transports you to another world the lichens and smaller ferns and shrubs below the canopy of trees and tree ferns reaching for the sky. Stood out from a backdrop of forest green, the beautiful Kotukutuku (New Zealand Tree Fuchsia) revealed its paler bark beneath peeling orange/red papery layers.
As we walked over bridges and under tree arches, the rushing water was never far away. We heard the roar of the three tiered falls before we saw it from the higher viewing platform cascading and tumbling down over the tiers.
A further track took us down to the lower viewing platform where Long-suffering proceeded to set up his tripod only to realise he had forgotten his filters. Despite this hiccup the scene was still captured, with and without his muse, just a lot quicker!
Back out on the road we set off for our next stop, eventually ending up on another gravel road to get us there, although not before a detour to Florence Hill Lookout a stunning viewpoint over Tautuku Beach.
Mclean Falls…. easy forty minute return walk.
Again a walk through dense forest over bridges and up steps to view the 22m high falls on the Tautuka River consisting of two falls an upper and a lower.
Long-suffering remembered all his photography kit this time but almost lost significant parts of it over the edge into the falls…. Gathering his bag, a lens rolled out from the unfastened zip and rolled slowly to the edge, he stood still watching disbelief immobilising him before his trusty muse shouted him into action. He dived, managed to catch the lens but knocked the tripod/camera in the process, luckily the muse was ready with her inelegant stumble and stretch…. tripod saved. Between both our middle age acrobatics much distress was averted!
Tautuku Beach…. A quick detour to walk the beach on the way to our overnight stop.
Papatowai D.O.C. Campsite….. Our freedom camp stop for the night on the catlins coast with access to the beach and estuary.