It’s not quite the bottom of the world but it’s pretty close. The Catlins is an area in the south east of New Zealand’s South Island which includes the South Island’s southernmost point “Slope Point”. For the most part the Catlins is a rugged, barely populated area, featuring a wonderful scenic coastal landscape and dense rainforest, both of which are home to many endangered species of birds, most famously the rare yellow-eyed penguin. The coast is a regular tourist spot for numerous marine mammals such as fur seals and sea lions. The heavy ocean swells are also an attraction for big-wave surfers, and have been known to cause the occasional shipwreck.
A trip to the Catlins wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Purakaunui Falls. Located 17 km to the southwest of the small town of Owaka and 5 kilometres from the Purakaunui river’s outflow into the Pacific Ocean, this cascading three-tiered waterfall has long been a popular destination and photographic subject.