Arrowtown, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand
Beach, New Zealand
Fiordland, New Zealand
Lake Matheson, New Zealand
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand
Rotorua, New Zealand
Please Help
To help us provide the best travel website around we have a quick question to ask
Q1 -
What are you looking for? Choose the main one.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our survey!
An error occured, please submit again.

Southland, New ZealandSouthland Regional Information

Southland | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

Rediscover yourself in Southland. Given the luxury of time, you can encounter wild places that few have ever seen.

Southland Overview

Southland, New Zealand
Southland, New Zealand

Southland is New Zealand's southernmost region and includes New Zealand's third island, Stewart Island.

The lush, green pastoral lands of Southland are a strong contrast to the dryness of Central Otago further north. Throughout the Southland region are a number of accessible, tranquil waterways that attract fly-fishing enthusiasts in search of brown trout.

Southland's largest urban centre is Invercargill, a city of 49,000 people. Visitors come to admire the elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings, gardens and landscaped parks. As in Dunedin to the north, Invercargill was originally settled by people from Scotland.

Invercargill is built around beautiful Queens Park—80 hectares of gardens, wildlife and sporting fun. As well as an 18-hole golf course, the park has animal enclosures, a bird aviary, play areas and the Southland Museum.

Southland Highlights

A half hour drive south from Invercargill is the fishing port of Bluff—home to the famous Bluff oyster and the annual Bluff Oyster and Southland Seafood Festival. Once you've tasted a Bluff oyster, no other oyster will do!

From Bluff, visitors can catch a ferry to Stewart Island. The island can also be reached by air from Invercargill. Stewart Island is a haven for native bird life and the only place in New Zealand where you can readily see kiwi in their natural habitat.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Ringaringa Beach, Stewart Island, Southland, New Zealand
Ringaringa Beach, Stewart Island
Southland
Photographer: Gilbert van Reenen
(www.cleangreen.co.nz)

Stewart Island is large—64 kilometres long and 40 kilometres across—so don't expect to walk around it in a day—or even a week! It has a 700-kilometre coastline, but there are only 20 kilometres of roads! As well as kiwi, Stewart Island is home to many other native bird varieties—including kaka, tui and bellbird. Sea birds abound off-shore. albatross, petrels, cormorants, gulls and blue penguins are common. Rarer species like yellow-eyed penguins (hoiho) are also seen often.

» Stewart Island Information

» Stewart Island Travel Directory

Southland also has large areas of near-pristine rainforest, ideal for day walks and hiking. Curio Bay on the Catlins Coast is one of the geological wonders of the world. This petrified forest of subtropical kauri and other trees dates back to the Jurassic age, 135 to 190 million years ago.

Main Centres in Southland

  • Invercargill - Southland's main city
  • Gore - Southland's brown trout fishing centre
  • Bluff - fishing port at the end of the South Island
  • Riverton - small seaside town at the western end of Oreti Beach
  • South Catlins - the southern portion of The Catlins
  • Stewart Island - the largest Island in New Zealand aside from the North and South Islands

Useful Southland Links

To help plan your Southland holiday choose from the main categories below:

Southland Region Information

Southland Tourism Operators

Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.