Southland, New Zealand's outdoor playground

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Papatowai, in the Catlins, South Island, New Zealand New Zealand sealion sandbathing, Catlins, New Zealand

Southland, as its name suggests, encompasses the south of New Zealand's South Island.

In the World Heritage Site of Fiordland on the south-west corner you can find the magnificent fiords of Milford and Doubtful Sounds.

If you are looking for an ultimate hike you will find three of New Zealand's Great Walks: the Milford, Routeburn and the Kepler Tracks.

Lumsden and Northern Southland with its picturesque rolling farmland and magnificent rivers is the place to head for to enjoy a day of brown trout fishing.

Riverton and Western Southland boast splendid coastlines with waters begging to be surfed and coastal cafes for relaxing in and beaches to trawl for treasures. The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is a wonderful three day walk suitable for all abilities and ages.

The main town in Central Southland is Winton, which is a fabulous farming community. The town has abundant gift and clothing shops and the cafes boast fresh local fare.

Gore and Eastern Southland have a wonderfully colourful history for you to explore.

Invercargill is Southland's capital. You will have fun exploring the city, wandering down its wide streets, taking in the Victorian and Edwardian buildings and enjoying the beauty of the many parks and gardens.

Being southernmost, the Catlins' long summer days are perfect for exploring the rugged coastlines, hidden lakes and exquisite waterfalls. The animated weather conditions have formed some of the Catlins' unique rainforest and coastline features. The Nuggets, viewed from the Nugget Point Lighthouse at the DoC Wildlife Reserve, are so named because they resemble gold nuggets. A short walk on to Roaring Bay is an ideal spot to watch the Yellow-eyed penguins coming home after fishing out at sea. Cathedral Caves, only accessed at low tide, are formidable in height and a great place to test out your singing. Purakaunui Falls have a 20m fall and are reached via a short walk through a beautiful podocarp and beech forest. If it is history that interests you; of international significance is Curio Bay, home to a fossilised forest which dates back to the Jurassic Period. If it is dolphins that you would like to watch playing in the surf, Porpoise Bay is just a short walk away.

Bluff is famous for its oysters and is also the gateway to Stewart Island and the Rakiura National Park.

Stewart Island has abundant wildlife and stunning vistas, which can be well appreciated from kayaks as well as through the many wonderful walking tracks. The Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary is predator free and a great place to see the kiwi in its natural habitat. Stewart Island offers exceptional hunting, fishing and diving of the sort that cannot be found elsewhere in New Zealand.

Intercity Bus with free WiFi

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