Looking for the perfect summer adventure? Escape the city and head to the bottom of the world – Western Southland – a very special corner of New Zealand.
Surrounded by the towering peaks of Fiordland to the west, the Takitimu mountain range to the north, and the beautiful Southern Ocean, Western Southland boasts dramatic landscapes, lush native forests and and an easy pace of life.
Explore New Zealand the way it used to be. Here are the top 7 things to do in Western Southland:
A three-day premium walking experience that takes you along the south coast of New Zealand up to the sub-alpine Hump Ridge zone, over historic viaducts in the heart of the native forest. Rest in easy-access, comfortable backcountry lodges. Book the Hump Ridge Track.
Known as the Riviera of the South and just a stones throw from Invercargill. It is the oldest European settlement in Southland and Otago and you can still see many fine colonial homes intact today. Enjoy the beauty of the coast and learn more about its history at Te Hikoi Southern Journey Museum.
Explore the limestone caves and view the stalactites and glowworms within this rare Southland cave system. Some passages are narrow and require crawling on hands and knees but you’ll be rewarded with sights of spectacular formations on the ceilings and walls of the caves.
4. Cosy Nook
Now housing a handful of traditional cribs (holiday homes), this area was once the site of a Pā and one of the largest and most established villages with around 40-50 whare/houses. The village was an important contact point for European sealers and traders coming to the area to trade for flax and potatoes for the Australian market.
This place lives up to its name. Take the time to fossick at low tide for semi-precious gems such as garnet, jasper, quartz and nephrite, which can often be found on the beach following storms and changing tides.
6. Jetboating along the Wairaurahiri River
Feel the serenity on scenic Lake Hauroko, New Zealand’s deepest lake, then get kick it up a notch jetboating along Grade 3 white water rapids on the Wairaurahiri River to the rugged southern coast.
Hector’s dolphins are the smallest and one of the rarest marine dolphin in the world. Small groups of Hector’s dolphins can be seen in Te Waewae Bay.
Untouched wilderness, remote rivers and breathtaking mountains — discover more of what Southland has to offer on our website.