This past Sunday the Sparks New Zealand Development Camp took a road trip through The Catlins along the Southern Scenic Route. The Catlins is a sparsely populated area of New Zealand that is home to many beautiful vistas and natural wonders. We started the day with a drive down to the very bottom of New Zealand’s South Island to Slope Point, one of the southernmost points on the globe. High winds blowing off of the Pacific Ocean didn’t dissuade the group from exploring the cliffs and fields of this striking location where the trees appear to grow sideways due to the constant winds.
Standing on the edge–Slope Point, NZ
From Slope Point we began working our way back north toward Dunedin, stopping first a Curio Bay, the site of a 150 million year old petrified forest and home to a colony of yellow eyed penguins, the rarest species of penguin in the world. There are approximately 4000 “hoihos” in the world and one of them was kind enough to come out of the water to see the group. After Curio Bay, we made our way along the coastal forest and stopped at a few of the impressive waterfalls in the area.
Most of the group at McLean Falls
Finally, after a full day of riding and trekking, the final stop landed the group at Nugget Point, one of the most impressive landscapes in New Zealand. All enjoyed the break from training and embraced the opportunity to see more of the country. The second full week of the camp has the rowers scheduled to meet with a nutritionist and begin work with a strength and conditioning expert from High Performance Sport New Zealand as they continue to build their knowledge of training along with their fitness.