Tuatara on arm
Jeremy Pierce

Did you know...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The region's location and low electromagnetic noise levels make it well suited for radio astronomy, ionosphere research and tracking of spacecraft.

Stargazing

The name Rakiura means glowing skies in te Reo Māori (the Māori language), and it's aptly named…

Farm Animals - Southland, New Zealand
Air New Zealand

Agritourism

Known for its warm ‘small community’ feel, rural Southland is famous for genuine…

Foodie Facts
  • David Strang, based in Waihōpai Invercargill, invented what is thought to be the very first instant coffee product in the world.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Coffee

New Zealanders love their coffee. You might think we're a tea-drinking nation (hello British heritage) but over the past few decades, coffee has surpassed tea as our favourite hot drink. This increased popularity of coffee has…

Invercargill - Home to the Southernmost
  • You can enjoy a coffee at the Southernmost Starbucks in the world in Invercargill.
  • Seriously Good Chocolate Company is the Southernmost chocolate factory in the world.
  • Southland is home to the Southernmost hydroslide in the world. You can find it at Splash Palace.
  • Invercargill is also home the world’s Southernmost, and New Zealand's first, indoor Velodrome, SIT Zero Fees Velodrome.

Splash Palace

The Southland Aquatic Centre " Splash Palace " is one of the top public pool facilities in New Zealand. Our facility includes a 50m x 8 lane sports pool with a bulkhead, a leisure pool with waves and sprays… More

SIT Zero Fees Velodrome

Housed in ILT Stadium Southland is New Zealand's very first indoor cycling velodrome. The SIT Zero Fees Velodrome was officially opened on May 26, 2006, by then Prime Minister, Helen Clark. Still, the only… More

Waterfalls & Lakes
  • Lake Hauroko is the deepest lake in New Zealand at 466 metres deep, 18 metres deeper than the 2nd deepest – Lake Manapouri (444 metres deep)
  • Lake Te Anau has the largest volume of fresh water of any lake in Australasia. The lake contains 47,672,300 cubic metres of water, or 83,891,519,966 pints of beer!  
  • Fiordland is home to some of the highest waterfalls in NZ. Number one is Browne Falls in Doubtful Sound with a drop of 836 metres. Taking 2nd place is Terror Falls, also located in Fiordland, and is 740 metres high. Sutherland Falls comes third at 580m high, and you can get right to the foot of it when walking the Milford Track
  • Stirling Falls, with a drop of 155 metres, is the famous waterfall that Hugh Jackman ‘jumped off’ in the movie Wolverine. You can get up close to this waterfall when going on a cruise in Milford Sound

Doubtful Sound

Sometimes called "the Sound of Silence", Doubtful Sound (Pātea) is the deepest of Fiordland"s fiords and the second longest, with three distinct "arms", numerous small islands and several outstanding waterfalls. This majestic fiord…

Lake Hauroko

Lake Hauroko is New Zealand's deepest lake and one of its most southern. The S-shaped lake is 30km in length, covers an area of 63 square kilometres, and has a surface that is 150m above sea level - but most importantly is is 462m…

Lake Te Anau

Lake Te Anau is the largest of the southern glacial lakes and the second largest lake in New Zealand, covering an area of 344 square kilometres. When only taking into consideration fresh water volume it is the largest lake in…

Milford Sound

Often described as the "eighth wonder of the world", the jewel in Fiordland"s crown, and one of the New Zealand"s top travel destinations, Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) was carved by glaciers thousands of years ago during the ice ages…

Wildlife Facts
  • At around 120 years old, Henry the Tuatara is Waihōpai Invercargill’s oldest living resident and one of its most famous. He can be viewed alongside other Tuatara at the Tuatarium in Queens Park.
  • The flightless takahē was presumed extinct for nearly 50 years but was famously rediscovered in 1948 by a physician from Invercargill. Geoffrey Orbell and his party found the last remaining wild population of takahē in the remote Murchison Mountains in Fiordland National Park. 
  • Southland is the only place in the world that has a specific species of mayfly, which is why the Brown trout can be found here. 
  • The Mataura River is New Zealand's most fished brown trout river.
  • Speaking of fish: Bluff is the only place in New Zealand where you can go shark cage diving to get up-close & personal with Great White Sharks. 
Fly Fishing in Gore
Gore DC

Fishing in Southland

Southland is an angler's dream, with easy public access and plenty of fish in the rivers and lakes. Fishermen (and women) travel far and wide to fish the beautiful Southland rivers for world-class trout. The environment here…

Kea on the Hump Ridge Track
Pink Penguin Studio

Birdlife

Southland offers some of the best bird watching opportunities & bird sanctuaries in the country. Fiordland & Ulva Island are home to a variety of unusual species. Unique birds like kiwi, takahē & cheeky kea can be found…

Wildlife & Wilderness

Want to listen to native birdsong? Or spot kiwis hiding in the dark? Or even just take a cruise to experience a range of wildlife? Southland is the place to explore and find everything from seals, to shellfish, seagulls, to sharks!…

More Foodie Facts
  • 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. 
  • How to make your own cheese rolls - mix one block of tasty cheese and one packet of onion soup with a splash of boiling water until 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 them 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, and 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 Southland Cheese Roll

The infamous Southern Cheese Roll... a local tradition and delicacy that is a must-try for any traveller to Southland. Like the historic tiffs over Pavlova, Russell Crowe, Marmite and more, the origin story of the cheese roll can…

Bluff Oyster

Bluff oysters are reputed to be the best in the world and New Zealand’s national treasure. These delicate and succulent shellfish are dredged along the coastlines of Southland between March and August every year. Originating…