In the deep south of New Zealand, Southland offers breathtaking scenery, from waterfalls to emerald-green hills, combined with a famously warm southern welcome. Invercargill is the region’s hub and it’s known for its excellent eateries and museum. Get further off the beaten track with a visit to Stewart Island. With much of the island protected in Rakiura National Park, New Zealand’s third-largest island is a uniquely unspoilt wilderness bursting with native wildlife.
Southern Scenic Route Drive the popular Southern Scenic Route from Dunedin, through Invercargill, Te Anau and Milford Sound, all the way to Queenstown, with stunning scenery, wildlife, walks, beaches, waterfalls and native bush along the way. Wild kiwi on Stewart Island Stewart Island is the only place in New Zealand where visitors can watch wild kiwi foraging on a beach at dusk. Bluff signpost at Stirling Point Your clients can have their photo taken at the Bluff signpost to find out how far from home they really are – strictly speaking it’s not the southernmost point of New Zealand, but it does offer fantastic views of Stewart Island. Curio Bay When the tide goes out, a 180-million-year-old petrified forest is revealed. This is one of only three such accessible fossil forests in the world and a must-see experience. Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track This challenging track in western Southland rewards walkers with stunning views as it traverses a landscape of bush and beaches, alpine tors and tarns. Tantalising seafood Southland offers a range of delectable fresh seafood, from Blue Cod and Stewart Island Salmon to mussels and, of course, the famous (and delicious!) Bluff Oysters.
Invercargill Cultured main centre of the Southland region. Bluff Mainland New Zealand’s southernmost settlement, famous for Bluff Oysters. Oban Stewart Island’s main settlement. Riverton Coastal settlement and home of the Riverton Rocks.
Getting There and Around
Air Invercargill Airport offers domestic flights to Christchurch and Wellington with Air New Zealand. Flights to Stewart Island take approximately 20 minutes; options include flying from Invercargill and landing on a Stewart Island beach. Road Invercargill is located at the southern end of SH 1. It’s 3 hours, 5 minutes from Dunedin and 8 hours, 15 minutes from Christchurch. Coach companies provide scheduled services to the region. Christchurch to Invercargill [579 km; 8 hr, 15 min] Dunedin to Invercargill [217 km; 3 hr, 5 min] Queenstown to Invercargill [187 km; 2 hr, 40 min] Invercargill to Te Anau [152 km; 2 hr, 10 min] Invercargill to Bluff [30 km; 25 min] Invercargill to Gore [66 km; 55 min] Ferry Stewart Island is a one-hour boat trip from Bluff. Charters and water taxis operate around the island.