On our 24th day in New Zealand Ashley and I made our way from the Otago Peninsula (just outside of Dunedin) down south to Nugget Point. This is also the beginning (or end) of the Southern Scenic Route in New Zealand.
The Current Route: (via Wikipedia)
The Southern Scenic Route follows a U-shaped route from Queenstown to Dunedin. Skirting the eastern boundary of Fiordland National Park the route passes Manapouri and Tuatapere. At Te Waewae Bay the coast is reached and the route swings eastward towards Orepuki,Colac Bay and Riverton. At Lorneville the New Zealand State Highway network is joined, and the Southern Scenic Route follows Highway 6 south into Invercargill.
From Invercargill the Southern Scenic Route heads east through Fortrose into the Catlins then through Owaka to Balclutha. The next section of rugged coastline with poor roading through Kaitangata is avoided as the Southern Scenic Route follows SH1 to Milton and Lake Waihola.
The Southern Scenic Route leaves the highway at Waihola and climbs through Otago Coast Forest rejoining the coastline at Taieri Mouth. From here the route follows secondary roads through Brighton and Green Island ending where it meets SH1 again at Caversham.
About an hour or two south of Dunedin is Nugget Point & the Nugget Point Lighthouse.
Nugget Point is one of the most iconic landforms on the Otago coast. Located at the northern end of the Catlins coast down the road from Kaka Point, this steep headland has a lighthouse at its tip, surrounded by rocky islets (The Nuggets). The point is home to many seabirds, including penguins,gannets and spoonbills, and a large breeding colony of fur seals. The lighthouse was built in 1869 and stands 76 m (250 ft) above the water. It was automated in 1980 and is operated by Maritime New Zealand.
After exploring the “nuggets” Ash and I drove onto Purakaunui Bay to camp for the evening. Purakaunui Bay is one of the most beautiful, secluded beaches I’ve ever been to. It was an hour and a half off the main road down a small gravel road just big enough for our campervan. Solidarity at it’s finest!