Ackers Track on Stewart Island

Southland's Short Walks

In Southland, there are many famous great walks for the hiking inclined traveler, but there is also a selection of short, easily accessible walking tracks that still encourage you to sample the region's rich natural heritage. These walks explore mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, sandy beaches and rocky shorelines, with some having picnic areas or campgrounds so you can be sure to spend all the time you need discovering this beautiful part of the world.


Featured Short Walks

Some of the most beautiful Southland walks are perfect for the whole family. What could be more relaxing than to take a quiet stroll along a short walking track such as Borland Nature Walk or picnic amongst birdsong after walking at the Forest Hill Scenic Reserve? One of the best short family walks in Southland would have to be at Mores Scenic Reserve because of the gorgeous native birdsong, large picnic area and amazing lookout point views. However, there are many other short tracks that are easy for all ages so that everyone can get a taste of Southern Nature.

Southland also boasts some excellent short walks for those looking for more of our natural features and history. Some of these such walks are at Slope Point, where there are the famously photographed windswept trees and both coastal and forest walks to choose from. The following suggestions are all great locations for nature lovers to experience multiple short walks.

It can be hard to know what walks are going to be dog friendly, and whether you are travelling or a local, it can waste precious time to get to a beautiful nature walk only to find your dog can’t enter. Some great places to take your four-legged friend for a walk include Otepuni Gardens and Anderson Park. Queens Park is also great because of its excellent activities and native birdsong. You can find more dog-friendly walks here. 

Even in Southland’s more hidden locations, you can find short walks to do. Scattered throughout The Catlins and Stewart Island are many short but rewarding and interesting walks.

If you’re looking for something slightly more challenging but still only going to take you a short amount of time, then a great place to explore would be Bluff Hill and the many surrounding walks, including Ocean Beach Track. These walks are excellent because when you reach the top, you can be satisfied with the gorgeous views across Stewart Island.

For the outdoors-loving travellers, some of Southland's campgrounds feature many short walks excellent for part of your daily activities whilst camping. Mavora Lakes campground offers two tracks which feature gorgeous views and exciting swing bridges. Piano Flat is another campground with walks for all levels of fitness, and it is also dog friendly.

Next time you're in Southland, make sure to check out one of the beautiful short walks - what may take a short slice out of your day could give you memories to last you a lifetime about the true beauty of Southland nature. If you're looking for other walks like Great Walks, make sure to read the Great Walking page.