Tourism

New Zealand's tourism industry has benefited from a wide range of markets. Increasing visitor numbers, coupled with welcoming host communities, has driven tourism to become an important industry for New Zealand's economy, with many entrepreneurs, investors and local communities benefiting.

Southland is an extremely diverse region with natural attractions ranging from the world famous Milford Sound and snow capped mountains in the west, to the coastline and wildlife of The Catlins in the east.

McLean Falls in The Catlins

The Southland advantage:

  • Outstanding natural scenery
  • Vast areas of wilderness, including two National Parks
  • Great range of experiences on offer
  • World class walking-hiking
  • Wildlife in natural habitat
  • Fantastic fishing opportunities
  • Cultural heritage
  • Southern hospitality
  • Unhurried, uncrowded, timeless experiences.

Existing tourism businesses & support services

There are numerous existing tourism businesses in the region, ranging from smaller owner operators to larger publicly listed companies. The businesses range from attractions and tours to accommodation and other support services. The Invercargill Licensing Trust is a major provider of hospitality services within Invercargill.

Bird watching on Ulva Island

The diversifying market mix means there are opportunities to base tourism activities around Southland's unique selling points, developing new attractions, creating new events or expanding upon the existing base of support services. Some examples of activities which already take place in a variety of locations within Southland are guided walks, bird watching, kayaking, scenic flights, boat cruises, cycling, fishing, hunting, climbing, diving and golf. There is increasing demand for both outdoor and in particular all weather attractions.

The Southland region boasts two Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs): Destination Fiordland based in Te Anau and Venture Southland based in Invercargill actively promoting and marketing the region.