The southernmost region in New Zealand, as its name suggests Southland is located on the South Island, at the mainland’s very tip. Famous for its unmatched beauty, Southland features the main centres of Invercargill, Caitlins and the glorious Te Anau and offers a natural playground of lush rainforest, sweeping coastlines, fertile farmland and dramatic scenery.
Some of the most popular things to do in Southland include the world famous Bluff oyster, the infamous stretch of race track of Burt Munro and the stunning Oreti Beach. Make the journey to Stirling Point to get your picture taken with the iconic world distance sign post or check out the ancient native reptile Henry who is 110 years old at Invercargill’s Southland Museum and Art Gallery. You can’t miss the beautiful 80 hectares of parks and gardens in Central Queens Park including rose gardens, an aviary and stunning Japanese garden.
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The fascinating Catlins Coast features incredible river valleys and hidden waterfalls as well as tranquil estuaries, rocky coastal bays, seabirds and sea mammals. Wildlife lovers mustn’t miss Tokata (Nuggest Point) on the Catlins Coastal Heritage Trail with its elephant seals, Hector’s dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, Hookers sea lions and three penguin species. Curio Bay is a historical must see, featuring a 180 million year old Jurassic fossilised forest which is best seen at low tide. Things to do also include the Purakaunui Falls, the 55m cavity of Jack’s Blowhole and the breathtaking Cathedral Caves.
Located in the heart of Southland, Te Anau is a township nestled on the shores of Lake Te Anau on the border of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area and Fiordland National Park. Connecting Queenstown to Milford Sound, Te Anau boasts a spectacular range of natural attractions including two of New Zealand’s great walks, Milford Track and Kepler Track, offering a sense of inspiration and freedom unlike anywhere else on earth. The South Island’s largest lake, Lake Te Anau reaches 400m at its deepest and sprawls along the foot of rugged mountains. A summertime playground, the lake is popular for swimming, fishing, kayaking and water skiing.