Curio Bay

Curio Bay

Coordinates: 46°39′44.44″S 169°05′52.52″E / 46.6623444°S 169.0979222°E / -46.6623444; 169.0979222

Curio Bay panorama

Located near the southern end of New Zealand's South Island,[1] Curio Bay is a coastal embayment 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 area is home to the endemic Hector's Dolphin, and Southern Right Whales have also been observed offshore. Curio Bay is one of the major attractions in the Catlins.

A petrified log at Curio Bay.

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.


  • R. Buckingham and J. Hall-Jones. 1985. The Catlins. Invercargill: Department of Conservation. ISBN 0-477-05758-6.
  • N. Peat. 1998. The Catlins and the Southern Scenic Route. Dunedin: University of Otago Press. ISBN 1-877133-42-6.

Line notes

  1. ^ R. Buckingham and J. Hall-Jones. 1985