A region undiscovered, this part of Southland is home to some of the most serene coastal views and beaches. From beautiful Riverton to the foot of Fiordland National Park, Western Southland offers a diverse landscape for activities.
For surfers, food lovers, history buffs or those simply contemplating the power of the great Southern Ocean, Colac Bay and its surrounds offer a great place to slow down and take a break.
Keep the camera close to hand to marvel at the unique geological formations and natural magnificence of Western Southland’s coastline. If adventure sport is more your thing then unleash the adrenaline on a jet boat ride across Lake Hauroko and down the Wairaurahiri River to the southern coast. Learn about the region's rich Māori heritage at Te Hikoi Museum, rated as one of NZ's best museums. It is also home to New Zealand's next Great Walk: Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, a 3 day loop track that takes hikers through diverse and stunning scenery, from sub-alpine wilderness to sea-level views.
For those experienced surfers, there is some impressive surf (nicknamed Porridge) near Colac Bay, or for the grommets the waves rolling in to Colac Bay that are soft enough for beginners.
The Longwood Forest or Mores Scenic Reserve provide scenic walking tracks that reward you with scenic views over the bay’s and valleys of Western Southland.
Lake Hauroko is New Zealand’s deepest lake and worth a drive in and walk the track and be rewarded with 360 views of the lake – don’t forget to stop at the Clifden Suspension Bridge and grab a coffee from Good Mood Food.
Even more famous than its scenic views might be the mighty Tuatapere Sausage, with Highway 99 Café & Bar reviving the age old recipe that put Tuatapere on the map in the 80’s. These are worth the drive!
And for a paddock to plate experience, the Orepuki Beach Café has delicious home style menus utilizing their own garden produce.
Riverton is the classic crib holiday destination, with an array of holiday homes for hire from beach from location through to clifftop lookouts. La Riviera guest house offers a bed and breakfast style accommodation in European influenced boutique building. A night at The Cliffs is well worth the journey with epic outlook and amazing scenery to sit back and enjoy the sunset. Further along the Southern Scenic Route is Tui Base Camp which caters to the more budget conscious traveller, it has onsite restaurant and bar offering a central location for exploring Western Southland.