Western Southland

Summer days in Western Southland stretch into endless twilights, tinged by magenta and gold sunsets that last, quite literally, for hours.
Family fun at Riverton

You will find the area of Western Southland located along the Southern Scenic Route between Invercargill and Te Anau. Allow at least a day to travel through this majestic area where summer days stretch into endless twilights, tinged by stunning sunsets that last, quite literally, for hours. The 'Riviera of the South' that is the popular seaside village of Riverton, hosts a variety of relics from the past (both Maori and European whalers), easy access to recreation and great place to unwind. Further along the road to Fiordland, Tuatapere boasts a frontier spirit, and is the launch pad to accessing the variety of natural environments that surround it.


Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track

The 62km Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track takes hikers through diverse and stunning scenery, from subalpine wilderness to sea-level views. Furnished with comfortable lodges to rest the weary, the track provides sweeping 360’ views of Southern Alps and coast while up on the Hump Ridge.

Hiking the Hump Ridge Track

Jet Boating

Contemplate the scenic Lake Hauroko, New Zealand’s deepest lake, with a cruise then get an adrenaline rush with one of the jet boat operators on the Wairaurahiri River – the steepest river in New Zealand to be navigated by commercial jet boat operators.

Jet Boat lake to coast in Western Southland

Gemstone Beach

Gemstone Beach is known for its constant state of change from sand to stones with the storms and tides. Semi-precious gems such as garnet, jasper, quartz and nephrite can often be found on the beach.

Colac Bay

For surfers, food lovers, history buffs or those simply contemplating the power of the great Southern Ocean, Colac Bay and its surrounds offer a great place to slow down and take a break.

The gateway to Fiordland National Park

At nearby Clifden, a quick walk into the Dean Forest leads to a 1000-year-old Totara tree. Then you can take your pick of Lakes Hauroko or Monowai, both bordering Fiordland National Park, and both offering great fishing, as well as wonderful bush walks. Tuatapere is an ideal base for many wilderness activities such as tramping, walking, fishing, whitebaiting, hunting, caving and jet boating.

What's on
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Check out our Southland events calendar and find out what is coming up so you can plan your trip south.

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What's On
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Wildlife
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Southland gives visitors an unrivalled opportunity to get up close and personal with a wide range of wildlife and experience New Zealand at its natural best.

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Southland is abundant with wildlife
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The Outdoors
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Sandy beaches, abundant forests, mountainous plains and leisurely rivers give travellers a new adventure to pursue around every corner.

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Northern Southland has many mountain bike trails
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Warm southern country hospitality, great traditional cooking fare, comfortable and cosy accommodation, isolation and location – that’s the magic of the Waiau Hotel.

Located in Southland's Blackmount district in the picturesque village of Monowai. This lovely old camp was historically built for the Monowai Power Station.

Tucked away in the most south westerly corner of New Zealand, with nothing but coastline to the south and Fiordland to the west, Last Light Lodge is the last backpackers to see the light of the day...

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The deepest lake in New Zealand, it is situated 30km from Clifden on the Lilburn Valley Road. A 40 minute loop track skirts the lake edge or a challenging 4 hour walk up to the lookout gives spectacular views.

This pleasant short walking track winds through forest to some of Southland’s largest tōtara trees. 

The Island is known by Ngai Tahu as the anchor stone of the Takitimu canoe, which was captained by Tamatea and wrecked at the mouth of the Waiau River.

10 min to 3hr Mores Reserve, at the top of Richard Street (turn left at the end of the bridge over the estuary and follow the signs), offers several short walks and great views over Southland and Foveaux Strait toward

The low cost green fees make this a must play holiday destination course. You won’t be disappointed.

This ride climbs through Longwood Forest to the very top of Bald Hill. One of the best lookout points in Southland – views of Fiordland and Stewart Island. This trail can be found 40km northwest of Invercargill.

This is the starting point for the Tuatapere Hump Ridge and South Coast tracks. Hectors dolphins/upokohue and southern right whales/tohorā can sometimes be seen from the beach.

At the end of the ‘Rocks Highway’, this is a privately-owned recreation reserve and a great place for walking, picnicking, fishing, and bird watching.

The Rakatu Wetlands are located in the Waiau River valley along the Southern Scenic Route, between Tuatapere and Manapouri.

Borland Lodge is situated at the gateway to Fiordland National Park in southern New Zealand - a World Heritage area.