Southland’s unmatched beauty provides a natural playground – no matter what your passion. As New Zealand’s ultimate outdoors destination for cycling, walking, fishing, photography and history, Southland captures the heart and soul of every person who visits.
Starting in August it’s never been easier to discover Southland with Air New Zealand offering a direct service from Auckland to Invercargill. It's time to explore Southland’s nature and wildlife; its dramatic scenery, pristine rainforests, fertile farmlands and sweeping coastlines.
Bluff Oyster Festival
1. Savour the South
The cooler Southland months are a great time to warm the belly and sample (or indulge) in some of Southland’s famous comfort food offerings. Savour the South by trying local delicacies such as cheese rolls, swedes, and world-famous Bluff Oysters and Southland Blue Cod - all dished up with a good dash of southern hospitality.
Bill Richardson Transport World
2. Check out New Zealand’s Garage
It may appear Invercargill is obsessed with anything that has wheels. Visit Bill Richardson Transport World, which holds the largest private collection of its type in the world, or see the illustrious display of motorcycles at Classic Motorcycle Mecca. Check out Invercargill’s motorcycle legend of speed, Burt Munro, at E. Hayes and Sons Motorworks. Have a go at Dig This Invercargill, New Zealand's first and only heavy equipment playground.
3. Explore the Southern Scenic Route
The Southern Scenic Route is a road trip like no other. This incredible journey has been ranked one of the top 10 drives of the world, and for good reason. It is just over 600km of spectacular natural and cultural attractions and exciting activities, such as wildlife viewing, short walks, mountain biking, surfing, fishing, boating, and tramping.
4. Spot Hoiho (Yellow Eyed Penguins) and Sea Lions in The Catlins
Observe Yellow Eyed Penguins as they come ashore on the 180 million year old Petrified Forest at Curio Bay. Visit the iconic Waipapa Lighthouse and look out for the giant, slumbering Sea Lions which lie in amongst the dune grasses. Get along to Tumu Toka Curioscape to learn about the Catlins’ unique wildlife, people and its history.
5. Coastal Pursuits out West
Keep the camera close to hand and marvel at the unique geological formations and natural magnificence of Western Southland’s coastline. Head to Riverton and explore the local shops, or take in Te Hikoi, rated as one of NZ’s best museums.
6. Play a round of Golf
What better way to spend your next holiday than with a round of golf on one of the many courses in New Zealand’s deep south? Southland boasts 26 courses ideal for long, relaxed games or competitive rounds, and it won’t cost the earth.
7. Bluff/Photo at the Signpost
Take in the 360 degree views of lower Southland at Bluff Lookout, get your photo taken at the iconic Stirling point signpost and walk the Foveaux Walkway along the coastal side of Bluff Hill/Motupohue while gazing out over Foveaux Strait. This is also where the Te Araroa trail and State Highway 1 begins.
8. Gore Hokonui Moonshine
Visit Hokonui Hills, the home to moonshine whiskey – which has been revived in Hokonui Heritage Precinct, Gore.
Kaka, Stewart Island
9. THE Rakiura Track, Stewart Island
A three day walk staying in seaside huts and encompassing some of the best coastline that Stewart Island has to offer.
10. Go Aurora Spotting
During the winter months Southland is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Australis. Also known as the Southern Lights, it illuminates the sky with curtains and swirls of pink, red and green light. Dark areas away from the city lights, such as Stewart Island/ Rakiura, The Catlins and Bluff are the best place to view this natural phenomenon.
Find out more about Southland at: www.southlandnz.com