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Southland's Best Beaches

Southland features many gorgeous coastal outlooks and excellent beaches for many kinds of recreational activities. This article suggests some of the best stops for you to make on your southern journey to truly experience the Southlands best beaches!

Southland is framed by many unique beach locations that every traveller should visit! There is a beach for all, whether you are looking for lakeside boat action, a wicked swell for surfers, sun for your tan, safety for the children's sandcastles, or epic views for photography - Southland has them all. To name the best is tough - so here a couple to wet your toes.

Steamer's Beach in Te Anau is a lakefront beach which is excellent for relaxing on or accessing the lake for kayaking, swimming or even activities like water skiing.

Mitchell's Bay in Riverton is a famous icecream stop, with a safe beach for swimming, body boarding and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).

The beaches of Ulva Island are golden sandy walkways and often frequented by the local native bird life. One of the most remote beaches is Mason Bay, on the west coast of Stewart Island, accessed either by charter boat, beach landing or hiking on the magnificent Rakiura Track.

Curio Bay in the Catlins is a local's favourite for swimming, not only with the family but also the rare Hectors Dolphins, and also features a prehistoric petrified forest.

Southland's top beaches would have to include the gorgeous Taramea Bay in Riverton. With its golden sweeping shoreline and beautiful hot summer weather, it's no wonder that this piece of southern coast is a local and tourist favourite. In Taramea Bay you can swim, surf, bask in the hot sun on a nice day and so much more!

Another great beach to visit is Gemstone Beach in Orepuki. Gemstone beach, named for your chances of finding a semi-precious stone on the shore, is unique because it is known for its constant state of change from sand to stones with the storms and tides. This shoreline fact, combined with the great waves for surfing, make Gemstone Beach a must stop location for any traveler.

Finally, no list could exclude the famous Oreti Beach in Invercargill. At 26 kilometres in length, Oreti is one of Southlands largest easy access coastlines. It is host to a Burt Munro Challenge, and is open to the public for swimming, surfing, kayaking and sandcastle building. What makes this Southland's best beach is not just the ability to drive onto it but also the on-sand activities allowed such as horse riding and four-wheel driving. It is just outside a major city with all your traveller needs and offers some gorgeous Southern coastal views. Make Oreti Beach your first beach stop in Southland!