If you love exploring the quirky, unique, unusual and unexpected, we know where to go!
Some places may not be mentioned in the big travel guides, but that doesn't mean they're not worth a visit! These hidden gems offer unexpected fun for the whole family. Here are some of Southland's most wacky and wonderful attractions to look out for.
At The Lost Gypsy, you won't know where to look first. It has so many quirky and brilliantly eccentric gadgets and gizmos to discover. The fun thing is that you can touch almost everything! Wind handles, push the buttons, and your curiosity will be rewarded.
Teapot Land Owaka
Teapots instead of plants in a garden, that is Teapot Land in Owaka. Big, small, old and new... these teapots are gathered from all over New Zealand and the world. This low-maintenance, quirky garden can be found along the Southern Scenic Route and is worth stopping for.
Garston's best-kept secret. What started with a mysterious visitor putting up a signpost, "Peter Rabbit's House", next to a rabbit hole under a tree, has now grown into an entire rabbit village, expanded and created by locals and visitors.
Switzers Museum & Bottle House
The Switzers Museum is worth visiting when you're in Waikaia, but the adjoining bottle house constructed of 20,000 wine bottles is the town's focal point! It makes one wonder how a little town with a population of just over 1500 managed to gather this many empty wine bottles...
The locals might be used to it, but when you think about it: how weird is a meters-high statue of a fish? When driving into Gore, the majestic statue of a massive brown trout welcomes you. This funky fish celebrates Gore's unrivalled status as the "brown trout capital of the world" - a tribute to the species which inhabit the Mataura River.
Demolition World is a place like no other. This hidden Invercargill gem will take you on a journey back through time into a world entirely constructed from demolished buildings and recycled items. Put this unusual place on your must-see list next time you're in Invercargill!
A first and only for New Zealand; an insect-themed park! A bug city, a circus insect puppet show, bug frisbee golf and much more. This special place offers a fun and unique experience for the whole family with various activities for all ages.
Wild Wool Gallery
At this gallery, unique one-off accessories are created by felting alpaca fibre, silks and merino fibre. You can even meet the friendly alpacas on one of the farm tours for a small fee. Learn more about these funky, adorable animals and get a unique photo opportunity and a chance to hand-feed them.
One quirky thing in Southland that is an absolute must-see is our national bird, the kiwi. They are unique for many reasons. I mean, take a look at them! Their funny long beak, the loose, almost hair-like feathers, strong legs, no tail. And they cannot even fly!
Fun fact: kiwi chicks hatch fully feathered and independent, which is unusual for birds. The chicks don't have to be fed by their parents. A yolk sac attached to their belly is enough for the first ten days of their lives; after that, they can forage their own food.
Go on a kiwi-spotting tour to encounter these unique creatures, we can promise you it's an experience you won't forget!