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“Jurassic experience”

Reviewed May 25, 2014

Unfortunately, because we had stopped off at Cathedral Caves, which you can only go to at low tide, by the time we got to Curio Bay, the tide was halfway in. Nevertheless we still got to see the petrified logs. There are steps down to the bay and there are also excellent interpretation signs. The rugged coastline is very scenic. We were glad we stayed the night so that we could see the penguins - they still come home even though it was raining by evening.

Thank rosieterry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 24, 2014


low tide so we saw the petrified fores

before that we saw 3 hectors dolphins just off from the cafe

and the walked round to the other side of the campsite to where the penguins were and saw 1 large penguin preening itself

so yes you can see all three if you are lucky

1  Thank chris c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2014

We visited early evening when the Centre itself was closed however the outdoor attractions are there for all to see. There is a campsite/caravan park which appears well organised and sheltered.

Access from here to the petrified forest and yellow-eyed penguins at Curio Bay is a few minutes along the road and down a well established stairway. There is also a wooden stairway leading down to Porpoise Bay beach from the Centre and it’s here that dolphins may be seen at times.

The main purpose of our visit was to see the penguins in the wild as they return to their nests at dusk. When we arrived there were already 20 or so people walking around on the rocks and to the casual observer the significance or appearance of the fossilized forest is not obvious - perhaps it was the low light!

We didn’t have to wait too long before the first penguin was spotted coming up from the sea. Unfortunately notwithstanding onsite information, or common sense, about keeping some distance from these shy creatures there was a “bun fight” by numerous characters to get as close as possible. As many of them were armed with cameras with lenses which could have taken photos from the other side of the bay it seemed ridiculous that they were in fact blocking the route the penguin was attempting to take back to it’s nest. There were no DoC staff around to keep them in check.

With a fairly standard zoom on my camcorder I was able to get close-up shots from a safe distance of this and a few other penguins which eventually came ashore. (The microphone also managed to pick up the less than quiet voices of over excited visitors who were calling to each other across the area).

The ignorance of some people managed to almost ruin the experience however luckily the penguins put them in the shade.

When we departed the shoreline we were witness to a lovely sunset as we headed back to our accommodation overlooking Porpoise Bay. During our short stay in the area we didn’t see any dolphins or seals at the beach here but it’s attractive enough in its own right to warrant a visit. At night when we had gone to bed we heard the “snoring” sound of penguins which had returned to nest under our accommodation - luckily it wasn’t something which we were aware of for too long - possibly thanks to the sea air we were sound asleep quickly.

Thank Rantin rover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2014

There was lots to explore on this beach. It is actually a petrified forest and you can see the pertified logs and stumps very clearly. On the beach you can find yellow eyed penguins and also spot dolphins out at sea. There is a bushwalk opposite the car park which takes you though the difference levels of the forest. Lovely place to spend an hour or two exploring.

Thank Chatterboxmegan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

Went here with the lite of a Jurassic fossilized forest and was a bit disappointed. Having seen petrified wood at the Moreaki Boulders area, this area didn't have anything else notable for me. And the sand flies were biting. There is a possibility of penguins, but we were there midday so didn't see any.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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