Scenic Route 99 – Curio Bay to Te Anua, NZ

March 7, 2014

Although most of the 3 hour drive (150 miles) from Curio Bay to Te Anau is along “scenic” Route 99, it was one of the least interesting drives of the trip. Maybe it’s just that we’ve been on the road now for over 3 weeks and have seen a lot of NZ, or maybe the tourist board is really trying hard to make this region a tourist destination.


The first part of the drive to Invercargill passes through the rolling hills of the Catlins dotted with sheep and interspersed with patches of native forest.

Near Invercargill

As we near Invercargill the terrain flattens out with more pastureland.

Near Invercargill

Despite the overcast skies, the cloud ceiling is high enough that the snowy peaks are visible in the distance. Past Riverton we hit the coast again.

Route 99 to Te Anau

Too bad the weather isn’t better or this coastal viewpoint would have been magical.

Route 99 to Te AnauTrees bent from the prevailing wind.

Route 99-1-3

Once Route 99 turns north, heading towards Clifden, we are greeted with more mountain views but still the clouds persist. This section is surprisingly dry with golden hills compared to the green hills of the Catlins.

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