Easter is the perfect time to take a short break away with family and friends and experience all Southland has to offer. With Southland Anniversary Day also tacked onto Easter, this is the perfect time to enjoy the fantastic destinations located in the region.
No matter your holiday length, Southland has itineraries to suit all travellers. If you are looking for day trip options, head up to Northern Southland. Start your day off with a trip through the Switzers Museum & Bottlehouse. Be inspired by the goldmining stories from days past and try your own luck down in the Waikaia River by hiring a pan from the Waikaia Store. Head over to the Waikaia Commercial Hotel for a hearty lunch and then continue you journey up the road to Piano Flat. A popular camp site, an old-style playground and a magnitude of walks for all abilities can be enjoyed in this large Forest.
If you are after a more coastal day trip, then Western Southland is where you should be. Dotted along the Southern Coastline are a number of seaside towns and villages. Riverton is a great place for the whole family to unwind and have fun. Further down the coast, Colac Bay (Oraka) is one of New Zealand’s top surfing spots. Nearby Orepuki offers the best paddock to plate food experience at the Orepuki Beach Cafe, and the surrounding areas provide various natural attractions such as Monkey Island (Te Puka a Takitimu), Cosy Nook, and Gemstone Beach
Looking for a foodie getaway? From sheep’s milk to southern beers, blue cod to prime beef, Invercargill is definitely a foodie’s destination. Visit one of the local cafes, restaurants or bars for a southern take on some of the finest and freshest ingredients in the world. Eat your way through some of the best seafood in the country. Easter is the best time of year to eat Bluff Oysters, and the Stewart Island Blue Cod and Salmon never go a miss! If these weren't reasons enough to visit, you'll also find that from 1 April to 16 May the region will be celebrating Savour the South, a festival showcasing Southland's tastiest dishes, beverages and outstanding southern hospitality. Highlighting unique and well-loved dishes that can be enjoyed only in Southland, from pie shops to pub-grub and fine dining. Everyone is invited, and it all takes place this Autumn.
How about a trip overseas? Over the Foveaux Strait to be exact. Stewart Island in autumn is a truly amazing experience. The nights are getting longer meaning you can spend more time stargazing, observing the Southern Lights and Kiwi spotting. During the day, check out the many walks, tours and water activities on offer. For a truly, back to nature/ rejuvenate your soul experience, island hop over to predator-free open island sanctuary – Ulva Island. The island is an absolute must-do for visitors to Stewart Island. The island’s well-maintained tracks offer easy walking for the whole family and provide the opportunity to enjoy the plentiful birdlife and lovely scenery at close quarters.
Wanting to get outdoors and enjoy mother nature? Then book your journey to The Catlins along the Southern Scenic Route. Boasting a rugged beauty and untouched quality that is magnetic. Here you’ll find a world of native forests fringed by high cliffs, deserted sandy beaches, pristine walks, cascading waterfalls, lighthouses and even a petrified forest. Home to many different wildlife; from native birds, to seals, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins The Catlins is an extraordinary destination to explore this Easter.
If history and heritage is your thing, then you're in the right place! Our heritage is celebrated not just one day but the whole month of March. From open days at various museums, quiz nights and heritage tours, there is much to see and discover during Heritage Month.
Discovered you have a wee bit of highlander in your roots during Heritage Month? Then the Te Anau Tartan Festival is the place to be (and even if you don't); this festival celebrates highland heritage for the whole family. From kiwi-style highland games to the iconic kilted mile running race, surrounded by the sights and sound of bagpipes. So wrap on some tartan and head on to Te Anau.