Southland is home to kilometres of unspoiled beaches, acres of lush rainforests, sparkling lakes full of brown trout and wildlife to encounter. Invercargill, the flourishing city centre, offers travellers the benefits of big city living with a touch of charm. With untouched, idyllic nature around every corner there is so much to explore in Southland.

Southland, half an hour from Invercargill, is a beautiful region with lush rainforests and serene waterways. The southernmost region of New Zealand, here you will find wildlife at its best, great fishing and pristine nature. Home to just over 90 000 residents, Southland offers travellers a glimpse at the untouched natural beauty of the South Island whilst providing a range of attractions for people young and old.

Invercargill is the main centre, home to half of the region's entire population. This charming city showcases classic Victorian and Edwardian buildings, a lively restaurant, bar and cafe scene and beautiful City gardens and parks. Settled by the Scottish in the 1800's there are still traces of the heritage in the street names, river names and local's accents today.

Driving south from Invercargill you will find Bluff, home of the famous Bluff Oyster. Bluff's landscape is dominated by the extinct volcanic cone, Bluff Hill and offers some great bush walks around the area. Bluff also holds a Seafood Festival every year. From the Bluff Harbour you can catch a ferry to Stewart Island, a sanctuary for native birds.

There is a heap to do in Southland especially if you love exploring nature. The Mataura River, in Southland's town of Gore has the highest catch rate of brown trout in the country. If you love a spot of fishing or are a first timer hit the Mataura River with a guide to show you the trout hot spots. Take a ride on the Kingston Flyer which operates on a scenic route in the region.

Visit the Southland Museum and Art Gallery to learn about the area and the animals which inhabit it. The spectacular Catlins Coast is a place of charming farmland, intriguing caves, amazing beaches, lush forestry and wildlife galore. At Nugget Point you will spot penguins, sea lions, dolphins and more. Be sure to stop by Curios Bay - a 180 million year old fossilized forest and the lighthouse at Waipapa Point.

You can get to Southland by car, bus or plane. Flights depart each day from the Invercargill Airport to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Stewart Island.

There is a range of accommodation including hotels, motels, farmstays, B&Bs, holiday parks and more.

Main Towns in the Southland Region

Other Towns in the Southland Region