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We made it to Curio Bay

Maurie Edwards

Well we made it to Curio Bay on Monday afternoon, after an 8¾ hour drive. I did the Balclutha to Curio Bay run. Jeeze it’s like Gisborne to Tolaga Bay 5 times non stop. And the road’s crap as well. Lots of soft spots on the fog line where the seal has been squeezed out of the holes and looks like 9 or 10 inches from top to bottom. Then there’s the normal refills that aren’t working or didn’t work.


I guess the message is, the roads around the country are generally not fit for purpose, so drive and be very wary — scan the road 30 or 40 meters ahead so you can mitigate the risks. I guess I’m lucky. I had good patient teachers in the military, on trucks with power steering by arm and shoulder movement only.


Anyway, greeted by reception and allocated a site. We asked for as close to the amenities as possible as we are broken arses.


No worries, got a great site.


Hauled out our new air tent and with some glitches got set up in about an hour. Cook a feed, take meds, do washing up, tidy up and hit the sack.


Day two, up at sparrow fart and do a recce, have breakfast then off exploring. Right to the top of the headland then over to the petrified forest. If for no other reason, the petrified forest is a good enough reason to visit.


The sites are natural land and each site is surrounded by mature harakeke. The first sound you are greeted by is something that sounds like it’s a stuka of WW2 vintage. Then you start bleeding and realise its fekin Curio Bay sandflies. Despite the bombers it’s a pretty good camp.



For a few nights or a day trip it’s a pretty cool place. n


The Catlins, Southland, Photos © 2024 Maurie Edwards


  • STATUS: Campground. Not affected by law changes.



Despite the fekin Curio Bay sandflies bombers it’s a pretty good camp.

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