Southland and The Catlins are New Zealand's ultimate nature and wildlife destinations.
Southland
Sunrise, Southland

By Venture Southland

Yellow Eyed Penguins can be seen in the South Island.
Southland
Yellow Eyed Penguin, Southland

By Venture Southland

Petrified forest at Curio Bay in The Catlins.
Southland
Curio Bay, Southland

By Venture Southland

Hiking the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track
Southland
Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, Southland

By Venture Southland

The Catlins - premier wildlife and nature experiences
Southland
The Catlins, Southland

By Venture Southland

Purakunui falls in the Catlins
Southland
Purakunui falls in the Catlins, New Zealand

By Venture Southland

Takitimu Mountains, northern Southland
Southland
Takitimu Mountains, Southland

By Venture Southland

Southland

Southland is a land of rugged coast and rolling plains, world-renowned Bluff oysters and the launching place for a visit to Stewart Island.

Southland’s largest centre is Invercargill. If you’re a garden lover you must see Queens Park and its 80 hectares of tree-lined walkways and diverse gardens. The city turns on the hospitality so, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, you’ll find plenty of friendly and high standard accommodation. Half an hour from Invercargill is the fishing port of Bluff. Known for its fabulous seafood, this is the place to taste the famouss Bluff oysters. If you like bird watching, catch a ferry to Stewart Island where you’ll find a haven for native bird life and the only place in New Zealand where you have a fair chance of seeing kiwi in their native habitat.

Southland offers scenic mountain biking trails for all abilities. Cycle the highlands and discover fascinating gold mining heritage at Welcome Rock Trails, while the Around the Mountains trail winds through historic townships and pioneering relics and is known for its rural charm. Cycling in Southland is a great way to connect with friendly locals. For encounters with rare and unique wildlife, head along the Southland coast to the Catlins. The Catlins River Walk leads you through beech forest and is known for its hidden waterfalls and rare native birds. At Curio Bay you’ll find fossilized trees, over 180 million years old, embedded in coastal bedrock. And at Nugget Point you’ll find fur seals, sea lions, sooty shearwaters, shags, yellow-eyed penguins, spoonbills and a breeding colony of gannets. And if you look closely, you may see Hector's dolphins frolicking out in the waves.

Content courtesy of Tourism NZ

Main centres

Towns