- For the American South sometimes called as 'Southland', see South (United States of America)
Southland is the southernmost region in the South Island of New Zealand. It boasts stunning landscapes from the high mountains and icy glaciers to green and lush grasslands on the plains where agriculture is king. The linchpins of the economy are farming, forestry and horticulture.
The population within the Invercargill Council area is around 52,000, within the Southland Council area 30,000 and within the Gore Council area 13,000 making a total of 95,000.
It has about 1600 sunshine hours per year with an average temperature of 15°C.
- 1 Bluff – southernmost point and home to the country's best oysters
- 2 Gore – world's capital of brown trout fishing, and New Zealand's capital of country music
- 3 Invercargill – the country's southernmost city, and the commercial heart of Southland
- 4 Mataura – brown trout fishing, and a local museum
- 5 Manapouri – gateway to southern Fiordland, particularly Doubtful Sound
- 6 Te Anau – the attractions of the Lake Te Anau area, and gateway to Milford Sound and northern Fiordland
Other destinations edit
- 1 The Catlins – forest, beaches and wildlife
- 2 Fiordland National Park, including Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound – home to NZ's fiords.
- Milford Road – scenic highway linking Te Anau and Milford Sound.
- 3 Stewart Island – the most southerly of New Zealand's three main islands with bush walks (including the Rakiura Track), birdwatching and kayaking
Many Southlanders, influenced by their Scots ancestry, speak with a Southland burr, in which they roll their rs. This is the most distinctive regional accent in New Zealand.
Get in edit
By plane edit
By boat edit
Cruise ships visit Fiordland and Stewart Island.
Get around edit
By car edit
Rental cars are available at Invercargill Airport.
By far, most travellers visit Southland to explore Fiordland National Park. Make time to see Milford Sound (the most well-known and accessible of the fiords). If you have extra time and money, consider also exploring Doubtful Sound, the deepest fiord in NZ.
If you're in Invercargill, enjoy the Victorian era architecture.
- Southern Scenic Route, drive the coastal route from Invercargill to Dunedin.
- Drive to Tuatapere and walk the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track. Stroll through Riverton, known as a historic fishing town and popular holiday spot.
- Then on to the Catlins and enjoy views over native forest towards the Pacific Ocean. Make a detour to Curio Bay to see its 160 million year old fossilized forest.
- Celebrate finishing the route in Dunedin with a Speight's in the many pubs and cafés.
- There are many other walks on the route.
- Explore The Catlins and walk through the native forest and along the coast. Look out for the fur seals, Hector's dolphins and yellow-eyed penguins.
Backpacker hostels are a cheap alternative to motels. Most offer double, single, twin or shared rooms.