Posted by Richard Perry on Feb 28, 2018
This January, I was fortunate to join a group of experienced and cheerful Rotarian and Probus members, for a set of day-walking trips in the South Island Catlins.
The first day was harder for me (low power to weight ratio plus insufficient training), but still a beautiful day in native forest alongside the Catlins river; followed in subsequent days by an eclectic set of expeditions to waterfall walks, a pristine coast side native forest, a whimsical Gypsy moving sculpture mini-park, grand caves, a petrified forest, and expansive deserted beaches.
Any risk of weight loss from daily exercise was firmly controlled by plentiful food, and sociable evenings of cheese, wine, and beer!. The Catlins are a most beautiful part of our country, and if you haven’t been, it’s definitely a must-see
The bush clad waterfalls I found beautiful.  Sometimes the pools at their foot were graced (in descending order of aesthetic value) by young bikini-clad lady German tourists, a set of goats, and two aging Probus males swimming in their underpants!
Perhaps the most surreal experience for me, was a peaceful evening walk along the local strand, to look over my shoulder and see other members from our lodge silently emerging out of a shimmering sunset haze.
The trip reinforced two principles for me: 
  1. Get fitter!  
  2. Definitely, don’t leave home until you’ve seen the country!