The New Zealand We All Dream Of
Southland is a nature lover’s playground – a virtually untouched wilderness known for its rare and unique wildlife. The region is an absolute must do for anyone who is passionate about the natural world and authentic encounters. The wild coast is home to an array of marine life including sea lions, Hector’s Dolphins and rare but distinctive Hoiho, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin. On Stewart Island you can spot unique and rare birdlife, including wild kiwi in their natural habitat - an experience found nowhere else in the world.
Find out why Southlanders are mad about motoring and machinery. It all started with Burt Munro setting a land speed record that still stands today on his trusty old Indian Scout Motorbike, which you can find at E. Hayes and Sons Motorworks. Visit Bill Richardson Transport World, which holds the largest private collection of its type in the world, or see the illustrious display of motorcycles at Classic Motorcycle Mecca. Have you ever wanted to dig a big hole operating heavy machinery? Have a go on an excavator or bulldozer at Dig This Invercargill, New Zealand's first and only heavy equipment playground.
For an immersive experience, take a hands on tour with a passionate local guide. Travel through Western Southland with GeoTours South, whose tours are designed to inspire understanding and appreciation of the region's natural landscapes. Join Real Country at an authentic maimai (duck hunters hut) in Northern Southland for a bespoke New Zealand experience - try your hand at archery, target shooting with an air rifle, cracking stock whips, and clay target shooting with a shotgun. Head to Stewart Island and take a guided tour with a local - the expert guides have the knowledge and know-how to take you through some of the most diverse and beautiful places in New Zealand.
The Southern Scenic Route has been ranked as one of the top 10 drives of the world, and for good reason. It is over 600km (370mi) of natural and cultural attractions laid out one after the other, making it an ideal drive for those with the time to explore. It is a journey that allows access to remote beaches, lush rainforests, pristine lakes and stunning mountain vistas.
The beautifully rugged Catlins coast is a must do on any visit to Southland, and is a particularly stunning part of the Southern Scenic Route. Visit the heritage centre at Curio Bay - Tumu Toka Curioscape - and discover the wonderful story of the region and the amazing wildlife that it is home to.
With some of the world’s best fare produced within the region, Southland serves up an eclectic mix of dining experiences; succulent seafood including world famous Bluff oysters, farm-fresh vegetables, prime cuts of meat and famous cheese rolls - all dished up with a good dash of southern hospitality. Try award-winning craft beer at the Invercargill Brewery, or visit Blue River Dairy, Southland’s Sheep Milk Café, where you have the chance to try the best sheep’s milk latte. Sample pinot noir infused chocolates, or try your hand at chocolate making at the Seriously Good Chocolate Company.
Southland, it's the New Zealand we all dream of.