Southland New Zealand

With fewer than 100,000 people covering 3.1 million hectares (12% NZ total land area), Southland is the perfect region to escape the hustle and bustle of big city life.

Southland (Māori: Murihiku) is New Zealand's southernmost region and is also a district within that region. It consists mainly of the southwestern portion of the South Island and Stewart Island (Māori: Rakiura). The region covers over 3.1 million hectares and is bounded to the west, south and east by over 3,400 km of coastal stretch.

The region's city of Invercargill is surrounded by the rural, green plains of Southland, the wilderness of western Fiordland, the alpine adventure playground of Queenstown to the north and rugged coastline and Stewart Island to the south.

Southland climate and weather

Southland's weather is variable and it is often said that you can experience four seasons in one day. In general, Southland has a cool temperate climate. Typical daytime temperatures in the summer range from 160C to 230C and in winter from 80C to 120C. Snow falls infrequently in winter but frosts are common, especially in inland areas. On average Southland gets 1600 sunshine hours annually, 1000mm of rainfall and wind speed averages 15-20km/h. In the alpine areas and Fiordland the climate is a bit more extreme.

Visit MetService for a forecast of Southland's weather.


Invercargill is New Zealand’s southernmost city and is the commercial hub of Southland. Invercargill offers a relaxed pace of life, where you can advance you career but also have a life outside work.

Invercargill has many heritage buildings


Bluff is New Zealand’s southernmost town, world famous for the Bluff Oyster – one of the country’s most favoured delicacies.

The Bluff Sign Post marks the beginning of State Highway One

Stewart Island

Stewart Island/Rakiura, located to the south of the South Island. The island’s natural world of bush, beach and birdlife is recognised with the formation of the Rakiura National Park, which encompasses 85% of the island.

Take a scenic flight to the beautiful Stewart Island

The Catlins

To the east of Invercargill, the southern Southland region lies across the Southern Scenic RouteExternal Link that links Invercargill with Dunedin via the Catlins coast.

See a range of marine wildlife on The Catlins coast in Southland

Gore District & Eastern Southland

The largest town is Gore, which is also a district within Southland and is renowned as the brown trout capital of the world. Gore has an active performing arts organisation so it is a great way to get involved in the community.

The Gore District has many iconic stories

Western Southland

Western Southland runs from Riverton on the coast northwards to include Ohai, Nightcaps, Otautau and Blackmount then down the Waiau River valley to Tuatapere.

Find relaxed coastal townships in Western Southland

Northern Southland

Northern Southland covers the area in the valleys between the Takitimu Mountains, Eyre and Garvie Mountains, down the expansive Waimea Plain to Riversdale. Its agriculture is dominated by sheep and beef, deer and dairy farming

Witness beautiful sunsets at Welcome Rock Trails in Northern Southland

Central Southland

Central Southland, with Winton as its hub, extends from Dipton in the north to Wallacetown in the south. Straddling the lower reaches of the Oreti River, it reaches towards Drummond in the west and stretches eastward to the Hokonui Hills.

Lush fertile farmland in Southland


Fiordland is renowned as the home of Mitre Peak and the awe-inspiring fiords of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. The buzzing lakeside towns of Te Anau and Manapouri provide the gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Mitre Peak in Milford Sound is a Southland icon