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 degrees Celsius.
- Invercargill - NZ's southernmost city, Southland's only city and the commercial heart of Southland
- Te Anau
- Take a plane or ferry to Stewart Island (schedule here), the most southerly of NZ's three main islands with bush walks and kayaking
Drive to Tuatapere and walk the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track. Stroll through Riverton, known as a historic fishing town and popular holiday spot.
Enjoy the Victorian architecture in Invercargill. Don't miss the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.
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, see here
- Explore Fiordland National Park (information). Make time to see Milford Sound (the most well-known and accessible of the fiords) and Doubtful Sound (the deepest fiord in NZ)
- 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.