Top Southland Winter Experiences

Takitimu Mountains - Northern Southland
Great South
Sheep in Northern Southland

Winter in Southland should be your choice of season to visit. With multiday festivals, ice sports, easy access to the slopes and plenty of belly warming food you don't want to miss your chance to experience Southland in winter. So rug up, bring your merinos and come down and explore our top Southland winter experiences.  

Tussock Country Music Festival - Events - Eastern Southland

Tussock Country Music Festival

If you love all things country music, make your way down to Gore, the country music capital of New Zealand, to attend the nine-day Tussock Country Music Festival. It’s a vibrant celebration of Kiwi culture embracing music, fine art, heritage, top-notch hospitality, whiskey tastings and high street fashion. With more than 30 events, including the legendary Gold Guitar Awards, that old line ‘there’s something for everyone’ has never been truer. 

MLT Hokonui Fashion Design Awards - Events - Eastern Southland

MLT Hokonui Fashion Design Awards

Held annually in July, the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards are a competitive platform for all amateur fashion designers to showcase their designs in front of well-regarded industry leaders.  If you have a passion for fashion don't miss out on planning your winter trip down to Southland.   

Water Fountains at Queens Park
Great South
Water Fountains at Queens Park

Ice Sports

Although Southland doesn't have any ski fields it doesn't mean you have to miss out on your winter sport activates. Head down to Ice Sports Southland and try your hand (or broom) at curling or strap on your skates and show off your double axel turns.   

Welcome Rock Trails - Northern Southland
NZ Pocket Guide

Soak in the Hot Tub at Welcome Rock

Keep warm during the cool Southland days by taking a soak 1100 meters above sea level with a glass of local wine all while experiencing the extraordinary views of the Mataura Valley and Eyre Mountains.  

Bill Richardson Transport World - Invercargill
Great South

Check out New Zealand’s Garage

It may appear Invercargill is obsessed with anything that has wheels. 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. Check out Invercargill’s motorcycle legend of speed, Burt Munro, at E. Hayes and Sons Motorworks. Have a go at Dig This Invercargill, New Zealand's first and only heavy equipment playground.  

Oyster Cove - Bluff
Neat Places

Savour the South

The cooler Southland months are a great time to warm the belly and sample (or indulge) in some of Southland’s famous comfort food offerings. Savour the South by trying local delicacies such as cheese rolls, swedes, and world-famous Bluff Oysters and Southland Blue Cod - all dished up with a good dash of southern hospitality.  

Surfing - Dolphin - The Catlins
Great South

Wilderness and Wildlife

Visiting Southland in winter is an absolute ‘must do’ for anyone who is passionate about the natural world and authentic encounters. This wild coast is home to an array of marine life including sea lions, Hector’s Dolphins and the distinctive Hoiho, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin. As the nights get longer, take a trip over to Stewart Island to spot the rare kiwi bird in their natural habitat. 

Tumu Toka CurioScape Curio Bay
Tumu Toka Curioscape
Tumu Toka Curioscape, Curio Bay, The Catlins

Visit Tumu Toka Curioscape

Tumu Toka Curioscape in Curio Bay is an essential stop for all visitors to the south. This world-class interpretive centre is intended to educate and share the special stories of Curio Bay; its wildlife, its people, and its history. Within the Gateway Experience touch screens allow you to tailor your own individual experience and the immersive theatre is a must see.