Mores Scenic Reserve Lookout, Western Southland
Sam Deuchrass

Western Southland

Tucked between the towering peaks of Fiordland to the west, the Takitimu mountain range to the north, and the wild ocean to the south, Western Southland boasts spectacular unspoilt scenery and limitless opportunities for exploring.

The seaside town of Aparima Riverton is one of the most popular towns in Western Southland. Thirty kilometres from Invercargill, the township is set in a picturesque location that spans Jacob's River Estuary, framed by the vast, sweeping coastline. The fondly named "Riviera of the South" is home to an interesting mix of artists and fishermen and is a great place for the whole family to unwind and have fun.

Further down the coast, Oraka Colac Bay is one of New Zealand's top surfing spots. Nearby Orepuki offers a pit stop in the form of a fantastic café, and the surrounding areas provide various natural attractions such as Te Puka a Takitimu Monkey IslandCosy Nook, and Gemstone Beach - and don't miss the commanding views and photo opportunities at McCracken's Rest. Look carefully from Te Waewae Bay, and you may just catch a glimpse of New Zealand's largest pod of Pahu Hector's Dolphins. Then, follow the Waiau River to Tuatapere, the launch pad, to access the area's variety of natural environments and adventure activities.

Whether it's seeking an adrenaline rush by jet boating down the Wairaurahiri River, surfing a big wave in one of the beautiful bays, discovering the local underground cave system, or tramping through some of the most stunning scenery in New Zealand, Western Southland is an ideal base for a Southland adventure!


Western Southland

You won't want to miss...

When planning your trip to Western Southland, make sure you check out these iconic and unmissable events!

Western Southland Townships

Riverton, Western Southland
Liz Carlson


Thirty kilometres from Invercargill, the seaside town of Riverton (Aparima) is one of the most…

Tuatapere sign
Welcome to Tūātapere sign


Tuatapere sits on the edge of wilderness amid spectacular unspoilt scenery and lush rolling…


Orepuki is a tiny settlement in Southland on the coast of Te Waewae Bay, surrounded by the…


Otautau is a peaceful little town in rural Southland, also known as “The Heart of Western…

Surfing at Colac Bay
Air New Zealand

Colac Bay

Ōraka Colac Bay has a long history of Māori settlement and was a booming town in the late 1800s…

Western Southland Roadtrips

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The Island Hopper

3 Days

95 km


Time for an overseas holiday? Dreaming of island hopping? Look no further than your backyard. Take a flight or board a boat to discover the secluded sights of Ulva Island & Stewart Island…

You're Due South

Are you a self-proclaimed Foodie? Or maybe you're more of an Explorer at heart. Do you want to dust off the Swanndri and go rural for a bit...or embrace your inner Free Spirit? Or maybe you…

Florence Hill Lookout, The Catlins
Florence Hill Lookout, The Catlins

Tour the Southern Scenic Route

4 Days

667 km


All roads lead to paradise, and in this case it certainly looks like paradise. The Southern Scenic Route has been ranked as one of the top 10 touring routes of the world, and for good reason.

Takitimu Mountains - Southland, New Zealand
Jeremy Pierce

From Farms to Fiords

1-3 Days

325 km


Discover the rural farm life in Southland via the Southern Scenic Route as you sit back, relax and reconnect with nature. After you enjoy this rural tourism itinerary, you will return to…

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Explore Murihiku Southland

Invercargill Central
Stacy Williamson


Waihōpai Invercargill is the regional capital and commercial hub of Southland. Founded in the 1850s, it is New Zealand’s southernmost city - and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Numerous… Read More


Te Rua-o-te-Moko Fiordland is a place of extraordinary scenic beauty. One of New Zealand’s oldest tourism drawcards, this rugged and remote region offers awe-inspiring landscapes and a wide range of… Read More

Stewart Island

Rakiura Stewart Island is the southernmost and smallest island of the three main islands of New Zealand. Just 30km from the South Island, it is a perfect retreat for those seeking peace, quiet, and… Read More

Florence Hill Lookout, The Catlins
Florence Hill Lookout, The Catlins

The Catlins

The Catlins, the spectacular coastal stretch between Balclutha and Invercargill, boasts a rugged beauty and untouched quality that is magnetic. Here you’ll find a world of native forests fringed by high… Read More

Gore District

Maruawai Gore and its surrounding district, sometimes called Eastern Southland, boasts an eclectic mix of heritage, culture, and industry. It is famous for its fly-fishing on the Mataura River, colourful… Read More


Southland’s port, Motupōhue Bluff, lies thirty kilometres south of Invercargill. The town, which is the southernmost settlement on mainland New Zealand, is home to the iconic Bluff Oyster & Food… Read More

Central Southland
Sam Deuchrass

Central Southland

Central Southland is 1.5 million hectares of lush, rolling farmland. The district has always thrived on agriculture, although sawmills, flax and linen-flax industries, lime works, brickworks and tile works… Read More