🚗 self-drive itinerary
🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
Visit sandy beaches, abundant forests, mountainous plains and leisurely rivers give travellers a new adventure to purse around every corner. New Zealand's Southland is a rich diverse collection of people and landscapes.
Highlights can include:
- home of Burt Munro's World's Fastest Indian, the original record-breaking motorbike that roared across Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats at 184mph, E. Hayes & Sons houses a collection of memorabilia and also operates as the local hardware and homeware store 🏁
- Otautau Gallery is worth the detour for art lovers featuring original paintings, top quality photography as well as woodwork, pottery and hand-blown shard glass vases by local Kiwi artists 🎨
- perched on the edge of the cliff McCracken's Rest is a lookout overlooking breathtaking Te Wae Wae Bay perfect for horse riding (see video) and popular at low tide when you can walk out to Monkey Island 🐴
- uncover some very interesting stones at Gemstone Beach popular for surfing, then visit picturesque Cosy Nook a rocky cove sheltering several holiday cribs and several fishing boats 🌊
- delight in Invercargill's pioneering past while admiring the Water Tower a prime example of Victorian architecture, and find character in St Mary's Basilica, once described as the prettiest church in Australasia ⛪
- explore some of the 80 hectares that make up Queens Park including beautiful varied gardens, an impressive bird aviary and family fun play areas ⛲
- visit the Tuatarium and the Maori Gallery showcased inside the distinctive pyramid-shaped Southland Museum + Art Gallery 🖼️
- wander around Lignite Pit Cafe + Secret Garden and see how a disused mine can be transformed into a tranquil garden setting 🏡
- take in spectacular views from Bluff Hill and the famous much-photographed sign of Stirling Point, the southern end of State Highway 1 📸
- you will not be disappointed by a guided Fly Fish Mataura trip, reputed to be the ultimate in dry fly angling for brown trout 🎣
- indulge in the range of delicious New Zealand made chocolate from The Seriously Good Chocolate Company and join a chocolate-making class, or a factory tour 🍫
- impress the entire family at the largest private automotive museum of its type in the world at Bill Richardson Transport World and take in neighbouring Classic Motorcycle Mecca too 🚘🏍️
- have fun with heavy machinery at Dig This Invercargill a real-life theme park in an adult sized sand box filled with dirt and gravel inhabited by giant machines 👷
- hike or mountainbike the Welcome Rock Trails, a private cross country trail through stunning scenery located on a high country station 👟🚵
- spend time enjoying quirky and eclectic Riverton / Aparima, a picturesque location that spans a river estuary and is framed by a sweeping coastline fittingly dubbed 'the Riviera of the South', or jump on your board at nearby surf spot Colac Bay 🏄
- come eye to eye with a great white shark in one of the world's great hot spots inside a thrilling Shark Cage Diving Experience just off the coast of Bluff 🦈😨
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors3.0
🌦️ Chance of Rain4.0
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun2.5
🍽️ Food + Wine 4.5
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of videocopter on YouTube
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Day 1 : Arrive in Southland
You'll travel to the region, arriving either by car or by coach. Upon arrival into the Southland region you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.
Venture to 'the end of the road' and see the famous sign post at Stirling Point in Bluff; enjoy Invercargill's heritage including landmarks like The Water Tower and St Mary's Basilica before taking a stroll through Queens Park to the free bird aviaries; those with a sweet tooth will be enticed by the delicious tasting tours at the Seriously Good Chocolate Company; or stay in the 'Riviera of the South' and enjoy the quirky town of Riverton / Aparima where a humble meal of fish and chips is as fresh as you'll get anywhere.
Day 2 : a car enthusiasts delight
Start today by paying tribute to Burt Munro, a man who never let the dreams of youth fade when he smashed land speed records back in 1967. A New Zealander made famous by the film, The World's Fastest Indian is still visited by thousands of people each year. Burt's Indian Scout is on display for everyone to see at E. Hayes and Sons a hardware, homeware, giftware and engineering supply store like no other.
Follow up with a visit to Bill Richardson's Transport World and be amazed by the extent of this private remarkable automative collection. You'll also have the chance to try Dig This which lets guests operate bulldozers and excavators in a giant gravel pit. Or spend time admiring Classic Motorcycle Mecca.
If you're keen to explore the impressive coastline, drive west to Orepuki Horse Treks and take the opportunity to view beautiful Monkey Island while on horseback; or come face to face with jaws off the coast on a boat and brave the chilly waters on a Shark Cage Dive experience - definitely not for the faint hearted!
Whatever you've ended up doing with your day, as always we'll arrange dinner tonight for you to celebrate delicious New Zealand food and your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants in the area.
Day 3 : Depart Southland
Take the time to break up your journey out of the region by stopping off at McCracken's Rest for the lookout and if the tide is right, walk to Monkey Island for 360 degrees; or be inspired by the transformation on display at Lignite Pit Café + Secret Garden before continuing on to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.