We have been traveling the South Island of New Zealand for 8 weeks and have covered about 1,000 miles of paved and gravel roads and over 100 miles of rail trail. In this post, I will talk about our favorite place we have visited thus far.
We have explored some beautiful places on our journeys, to include seeing New Zealand’s highest peak, Mt Cook, from Mt Cook Village, we have seen Fiordland National Park, tramped to huts on two of the eight “great walks” of New Zealand. We have played on vacant beaches and biked through fabulous Beach tree forests, but our favorite spot has been Curio Bay in the Catlins of New Zealand.
Curio Bay is a small beach town (like 30ish residents), located in the Catlins. The Catlins are on the south east coast of New Zealand. Curio bay boasts a white sand beach about 8 kilometers in length. The flat beach is perfect for running with no deep sand or obstructions. Pas the bay you can continue on to another sort of bay where there are boats and no surf. The surf at Curio is pretty much constant all summer with no less than 1 meter waves that can break left and right.
The magic of Curio Bay is its wildlife. In the water of Curio Bay there are almost always Hector’s dolphins, one of the rarest dolphins in the world. These dolphins enjoy investigating human swimmers and on both of my swims multiple dolphins came within a few feet of me. Apparently these Hector Dolphins are very unique in that they stay in the bay almost constantly on their own accord (not being fed).
A five minute walk from the main beach you can find Yellow Eyed Penguins waddling back and forth from their nests to the ocean most times of the year. Similar to Hector’s Dolphins, Yellow Eyed dolphins are extremely rare and a real treat to see in the wild.
At the Bay there is a great camping area right on the beach and surrounding hills. You can find great views, or tuck away out of the wind. You have access to toilets, some shelter, some ice cream and a small kitchen.
Seeing penguins, swimming with dolphins, surfing, relaxing on the white sands with an ice cream cone and doing a morning running past sea lions all in one area seems more like a fictitious Disney movie, but I assure you, it exists.
I have started to re-focus with my training after a month of taking things easy. I’ve also decided to not race this January and just focus on training. I’m also considering the Andorra 100 Mile as well.
Here is the week’s training:
Monday-Climbed up to Sawyer Burn Hut on a very steep but relatively short run.
90 Minutes, 3,000 feet climbing (2,000ft up in 1.25 miles!)
Tuesday- 5×1 mile tempo repeats with 200 meter jog recoveries along the gravel trail around lake Wanaka. Felt good.
5:50, 5:50, 5:53, 5:52, 5:56
Wednesday- Recovery run along lake Wanaka. Met a cool guy from Switzerland on the trail.
9.5 Miles easy.
Thursday- Ran my 4th speed workout with plyos. Increased the intervals from 10x300meters to 4 X (400, 400, 200) with two sets of plyos (after the first and third set of intervals). I had the special treat of running my first workout on a marked grass track that is also used for Cricket. I should be able to get some more grass track workouts as Cricket fields often have a marked 400 meter oval around them.
70, 71, 34; Plyos (50 step ups, 25 full step ups, 15 burpees, 10 x single leg bounds on each leg, 10 double leg bounds, 25 jumping lunges)
72, 71, 34; 73, 72, 34; Plyos; 71, 70, 33;
Friday-Easy run on the trails around lake Wanaka; 10 miles, 80 minutes.
Saturday- Climb up Mt. Roy in Wanaka
Sunday-(Plan) 22ish miles, 6-8 miles at 7min/mile in Makarora
Next couple posts, “Felix’s Perspective” and “Hanging with the Smiths”