New Zealand’s southernmost region, it’s no surprise that Southland is located on the South Island, at the very tip of the mainland. Comprising of the main centres of Invercargill, Stewart Island, Gore, Bluff and South Catlins, Southland is known for its unmatched beauty, wild places and natural playground boasting dramatic scenery, sweeping coastlines, lush rainforest and fertile farmland.
If you’re wondering how to get to Southland from Australia, the Queenstown International Airport is the closest international gateway to the region. Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand both offer a number of direct daily flights to Queenstown departing Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, with connections from other capital and regional cities also available. Flights take between 3 to 10 hours, depending on your point of departure and connecting flight.
The Queenstown International Airport is just a two and a half hour drive from Invercargill and the Southland region along State Highway 6 or State Highway 94. Air New Zealand also offers a range of daily domestic flights to Invercargill from a number of other popular North and South Island destinations including Christchurch and Wellington. Located just a short 5 minute drive from downtown Invercargill, the airport offers some great car rental options for those who wish to explore Southland on a self-drive itinerary.
Getting to Southland by road is ideal thanks to the region’s vast network of roads which can reach almost every place you would wish to explore, except perhaps the Fiordland National Park’s remote wilderness. With minimal traffic and wide roads, self-drive is quite an enjoyable option, particularly those who wish to travel the Southern Scenic Route.
Of course, if getting to Southland by air or land isn’t really your style, there are also many cruises which depart Australia and cruise Southland. Offered on a number of reputable cruise lines, these cruises include Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises. Departing Brisbane and Sydney, these cruises are available on board the Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Diamond Princess and Pacific Pearl cruise ships. Although these cruises don’t berth in Southland, they do enjoy some spectacular scenic cruising through the Fiordland National Park, one of the most popular attractions in Southland.