Hector's dolphin leaping, Porpoise Bay
Hector’s dolphins/papakanua, marine wildlife and the fossilised remains of an ancient forest can be seen at Curio and Porpoise bays.
View the Curio Bay/Porpoise Bay brochure (PDF, 494K).
Wildlife, including Hector's dolphins, yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and sea lions, can be found at Curio and Porpoise bays. The area also contains the fossilised remains of an ancient forest and has an interesting history.
You can view the wildlife in the area and explore the fossil forest at low tide. Porpoise Bay with its beautiful sandy beach is popular for swimming and surfing.
There is no DOC accommodation in the area, but there is a sheltered campsite situated on South Head, the headland separating Curio Bay from Porpoise Bay.
Find out how to get there and view a map of the area. Do not feed or go near dolphins, keep dogs clear of wildlife and be careful of approaching seals and sea lions too closely.
The Catlins Highway section of the Southern Scenic Route takes in the Catlins coastline and large tracts of native forest. Attractions include beaches, waterfalls and caves, wildlife viewing and the fossil forest at Curio Bay.
One of the smallest marine dolphins in the world,
Hector’s dolphins grow no more than 1.5 m in length.
Watch this video to find out where you can sleep-over with your locals! The Catlins in Southland is teeming with native life, and you can stay at Curio Bay campground.
Find businesses that are DOC-approved to provide activities and services in Curio Bay/Porpoise Bay.
DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map
Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.
Walking track categories
Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:1. Plan your trip2. Tell someone3. Be aware of the weather4. Know your limits5. Take sufficient supplies