The Catlins

Curio Bay

Curio Bay
Venture Southland

Curio Bay is a popular holiday and day trip destination, with a growing number of accommodation providers but not very many shops - so come prepared.

The highlight of Curio Bay (Tumu Toka) is watching the outgoing tide reveal a 180 million year old Jurassic fossil forest – one of only three such accessible fossil forests in the world. Millions of years ago the Curio Bay area was part of the eastern margin of the ancient super continent Gondwanaland. The forest was destroyed multiple times by massive sheet floods of volcanic debris; growing back only to be covered again. These events are clearly recorded by distinct bands of fossils in the now exposed cliff face. The erosion of the sea has exposed tree stumps, logs and other fascinating fossils.

The bay is also home to a colony of rare Yellow-Eyed Penguins (Hoiho) and a resident pod of rare Hector's Dolphin (Upokohue). Whether you are exploring the petrified forest at low tide, spotting penguins and dolphins for photo opportunities, swimming or surfing in the safe waters of nearby Porpoise Bay, or relaxing on the beautiful sandy beach, Curio Bay surrounds you with spectacular scenery and wildlife.

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