Southland

Curio Bay and Slope Point

There are many things to capture your imagination at Curio Bay, including dolphins, penguins and fossilised trees.

A very curious place, Curio Bay has a fossil forest that dates back to the Jurassic period. The fossilised trees you can see here were alive around 180 million years ago, when New Zealand was part of the Gondwanaland super continent. Scientists have identified tree ferns, cycads and trees which resemble New Zealand kauri and matai. You'll need to arrive at low tide and the best viewing position is from the purpose-built platform. The Curio Bay area is also a protected nesting ground for yellow-eyed penguins. Visitors to Curio Bay during the summer and autumn can often see Hector's dolphins playing in the surf.

The next peninsula south of Curio Bay is Slope Point, the most southerly place on the South Island. The point is accessed by a 20 minute walk across private farmland. A signpost shows the distance to the equator and the south pole.