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“Amazing spot”

Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Amazing spot”
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Not much I can add about this place that hasn't already been mentioned but it is just a magical place. The view is very unique (2 separate bays, large rock bluffs, open ocean), you can view penguins and dolphins (we saw both), there's petrified forest, and the nearby campsite is cut out of large reeds (of some sort?) that makes it a very unique experience.

I should qualify my review by saying that the weather was sunny, clear and warm while we were there and wind was relatively light (it can be quite cold and windy). Sunsets were incredible. Also there was a full moon and views of that were very nice.

Curio Bay just gives you the feeling of being in a remote, natural, edge-of-the-Earth kind of place but it isn't all that remote. In my opinion this is a place that you should not miss if you are visiting the Catlins.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank LL_dialekt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
541 reviews
306 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 336 helpful votes
“best viewing yellow-eyed penguins”
Reviewed May 6, 2013

We were only here an hour or so (at low tide before sunset) and saw how several yellow-eyed penguins came out of the water and shyly moved step-by-step over the plateua with some petrified stems towards their nests in the bushes. This experience was so much better than the very distant viewing of yellow eyed penguins in the Nature Guide Otago.
The access from the parking down to the sandstone plateau is well organised with stairs and a platform with explanations about the petrified forest, but unfortunately the instructions to the visitors to keep a good distance to these shy penguins is lacking.
Some Korean visitors with 60 cm telephoto lenses walked within 3 meters of them, whilst they could have taken that picture from 20 m away as well. Some people told them to stay back which they reluctantly did.
From people we met during this viewing we heard that the dolphins were playing around the surfers in daytime.

Visited April 2013
Thank huys25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A Magic Spot”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We really enjoyed our visits to Curio Bay. We stayed in nearby Waikawa and came down in the evening to watch the penguins. Best to arrive on dusk and watch them waddle out of the water. The whole family really enjoyed it. Unfortunately late April must be too late to see the dolphins and the weather was fresh and windy but still amazing!

Visited April 2013
Thank corfi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
herndon, va
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“hector dolphins to the left & penguins to the right :)”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

when you arrive at the "T" intersection (if you are driving south on waikawa-curio bay road), the hector dolphins will be to the left (toward porpoise bay) & the penguins to the right (at the same site as the petrified stumps). an hour or so before sunset is supposed to be a good time to see them walk/waddle/hop from the water to their nests.
also, when you drive up to the porpoise bay car park to look for the dolphins, don't get tricked by the small parking area on the right that you come upon first (the body of water you'll be looking at from there is curio bay... you want to be looking at porpoise bay). instead, drive just a little further up to the first parking area on the left. park there and walk out to the beach/rocks. if you watch patiently (it only took about 5 minutes for us), you will eventually see the small dolphins playing in the water. :)

Visited March 2013
4 Thank cdc2f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elanora, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Swim for free with a rare dolphin”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a truly magnificent bay. Held within its waters Re the Hector's Dolphins. Yes the water is still fresh but the experience of being close to several dolphins at one time is truly a memory that you will never forget. There is no problem attracting the dolphins they seem to want to interact with you.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Foxtail48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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