©

Curio Bay trip planner

Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free

Itinerary Planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
Adults
- +
Teens
- +
Kids
- +
Close

Curio Bay

Curio Bay is a coastal embayment in the Southland District of New Zealand, best known as the site of a petrified forest some 180 million years old. It also hosts a yellow-eyed penguin colony, arguably the rarest of penguin species, with approximately 1600 breeding pairs in the extant population. The bay, along with neighbouring Porpoise Bay, is home to the endemic Hector's dolphin. Southern right whales are occasionally observed offshore, as on numerous parts of the country's coast. Located near the southernmost point of the South Island, Curio Bay is one of the major attractions in the Catlins, attracting around 100,000 visitors per year. The town of Waikawa has an information center for tourists.The now petrified logs, from ancient conifers closely related to modern kauri and Norfolk pine, were buried by ancient volcanic mud flows and gradually replaced by silica to produce the fossils now exposed by the sea.The fossilised forest grew at a time of semi-tropical climate and before grasses and flowering plants had come into existence. The original forest of cycads, conifers and ferns was buried by massive floods of ash and volcanic debris either directly from a volcanic eruption or from later heavy rain on a barren volcanic mountain. Distinct bands of fossilised vegetation exposed in the cliff face indicate that in between such floods, the forest grew back at least four times over a period of some 20,000 years. Following this, the area remained buried over millions of years. Silica started to impregnate the wood and eventually turned it into stone, preserving not just tree stumps and wood, but in some places also fern fronds and leaves.
Before you visit New Zealand, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.
Source
Create a full itinerary — for free!

Plan your trip to Curio Bay

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Curio Bay

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Recently planned trips to Southland Region

3 days in Te Anau BY A USER FROM INDIA March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 28 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA December, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM PERU February, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: February, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 35 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, outdoors, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 36 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM MOROCCO February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM INDIA February, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM INDIA February, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM BRUNEI December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 9 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM BRUNEI January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans