Tuatara on arm
Jeremy Pierce

Did you know...

  • Early European settlement in Murihiku Southland was dominated by Scots and the softly rolled ‘r’s of local residents - New Zealand’s only regional accent - are a reminder of that heritage.
  • At somewhere between 100 and 150 years old, Henry the Tuatara is Waihōpai Invercargill’s oldest living resident and one of its most famous. He is currently residing at a safe location awaiting the build of his new home in Queens Park, Invercargill's museum with a brand-new, specialist enclosure for tuatara built within. 
  • Despite perceptions, Waihōpai Invercargill receives less rain than either Auckland or Wellington!
  • In 2019, Rakiura Stewart Island was officially recognised as the world’s fifth International Dark Sky Sanctuary, due to its exceptional quality of starry night views and lack of light pollution.
  • The Tākitimu Mountains represent the upturned hull of the waka commanded by Chief Tamatea that was wrecked at Te Waewae Bay.
  • New Zealand’s first dairy factory was established at Edendale in 1882. Now, Edendale is the site of the world’s largest raw milk-processing plant.
  • Ernest Robert Godward, based in Invercargill, invented and patented an eggbeater that prepared eggs for a sponge cake in three and a half minutes - previously it had taken 15 minutes.
  • David Strang, based in Waihōpai Invercargill, invented what is thought to be the very first instant coffee product in the world.
  • Browne Falls in Patea Doubtful Sound is New Zealand’s highest waterfall, Lake Hauroko is New Zealand’s deepest lake and Lake Te Anau has the largest volume of fresh water of any lake in Australasia.
  • Like the historic tiffs over Pavlova, Russell Crowe, Marmite and more, the origin story of the cheese roll can also be well debated. Truth be told, no one really knows how the cheese roll came about. Early recipes for the dish date from the 1930s, with the earliest being in a New Zealand newspaper in 1935. The popularity of the delicacy seems to have taken off since the invention of sliced bread in the 1950s.
  • Make your own cheese rolls - mix one block of tasty cheese and one packet of onion soup with a splash of boiling water until a thick paste forms. Spread a portion on a slice of bread and then roll, repeat until all the mixture is used. Bake cheese rolls in a moderate oven or place into a sandwich press and bake until golden. Serve with lashings of butter.
  • The Foveaux Strait is one of the oldest commercial fisheries in New Zealand, and the iconic Bluff oyster has been harvested here for over 100 years. Oysters can live up to eight years, the oysters we eat are about four to six years old. Oysters are a great source of zinc, iron, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin A, copper, vitamin C.
  • Southland has a strong economy with an abundance of natural resources and is based on primary production and process industries such as dairying, meat processing and the world-class Tiwai Aluminium Smelter.
  • The region's location and low electromagnetic noise levels make it well suited for radio astronomy, ionosphere research and tracking of spacecraft. Southland is home to New Zealand’s only commercial low earth orbit satellite ground station, where data is downloaded from satellites and spacecraft are commanded.