Next we headed to the south coast, stopping on the way at New Zealands deepest Lake- Lake Hauroko which was very nice when we eventually found it at the end of a very long gravel road. Then we hit the south coast and made our way towards the town of Invercargill. We stopped at McCrakens rest and gemstone beach where we did find very tiny gem fragments. The weather was a bit windy and wet so we made our way to the caravan park where we bumped into a couple we had seen all the way down the west coast called Tom & Bea, it was nice to have some company in the evenings! Invercargill itself is quite an ugly town, it's very flat and grey. We drove down to Bluff which is a tiny town at one of the most southerly points of the southern island, here you can get a ferry over to Stewart Island but we did not have enough funds to go there! Bluff was pretty dire as a town, and seemed a bit rundown. We did get a view of the island in the distance.
Afterwards we headed towards the Catlins national park where we spent two days exploring. The Catlins is again quite remote and the hilight of the area is being able to spot many sealions on the beach. We saw quite a few, some in Cannibal Bay and Waipapa Point. They were quite amusing to watch as they make very loud noises and roll around. The males are huge and are usually after the poor smaller females - you would not want to get in the way of one! We also saw plenty of seals and at Curio Bay we could see Hector Dolphins bobbing around, when the waves came in you could see them all surfing! There were a few quirky houses around too including one with a garden full of teapots called Teapot land, complete with mannequins holding teapots! We stayed in the most lovely campsite just outside of Owaka right by an inlet where we had a sunset stroll and there was noone else around. All you could hear were birds. It was pitch black at night and we saw amazing bright stars. The most southerly point of the south island is in the Catlins - Slope Point. We had to walk for about 20 mins through a sheep field to get there and there was a sign saying how far away places all around the world are. We also went to see the petrified forest - fossils, but what caught our attention more was a yellow eyed penguin in the distance on the beach which was great!