Tucked between the towering peaks of Fiordland to the west, the Takitimu mountain range to the north, and the wild ocean to the south, Western Southland boasts spectacular unspoilt scenery and limitless opportunities for exploring.
The seaside town of Riverton (Aparima) is one of the most popular towns in Western Southland. Thirty kilometres from Invercargill, the township is set in a picturesque location that spans Jacob’s River Estuary, framed by the vast, sweeping coastline. The fondly named “Riviera of the South” is home to an interesting mix of artists and fishermen, and is a great place for the whole family to unwind and have fun.
Further down the coast, Colac Bay (Oraka) is one of New Zealand’s top surfing spots. Nearby Orepuki offers a pit stop in the form of a fantastic café, and the surrounding areas provide various natural attractions such as Monkey Island (Te Puka a Takitimu), Cosy Nook, and Gemstone Beach - and don’t miss the commanding views and photo opportunities at McCracken's Rest. Look carefully from Te Waewae Bay and you may just catch a glimpse of New Zealand’s largest pod of Hector’s Dolphins (Upokohue). Then follow the Waiau River to Tuatapere, the launch pad to accessing the variety of natural environments and adventure activities in the district.
Whether it’s seeking an adrenaline rush by jet boating down the Wairaurahiri River, surfing a big wave in one of the beautiful bays, discovering the local underground cave system, or tramping through some of the most stunning scenery in New Zealand, Western Southland is an ideal base for a Southland adventure!