Incorporating Invercargill, Catlins, Gore, Fiordland, Bluff & Stewart Island
In contrast to the dryness of Central Otago, Southland is lush and green. Tranquil waterways attract fly-fishing enthusiasts in search of brown trout. Near-pristine southern rainforest provides opportunities for day walks and hiking. The amazing Catlins Coast promises wildlife encounters and the chance to see Curio Bay - a petrified forest of subtropical kauri and other trees dating back to the Jurassic age.
Southland's largest urban centre is Invercargill, a city of over 50,000 people. Visitors come to admire the elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings, gardens and landscaped parks. Invercargill is built around beautiful Queens Park - 80 hectares of gardens, wildlife and sporting fun. As well as an 18-hole golf course, the park has animal enclosures, a bird aviary, play areas and the Southland Museum.
A half hour drive south from Invercargill is the fishing port of Bluff - home to the famous Bluff oyster and a lively annual seafood festival.
From Bluff, visitors can catch a ferry to Stewart Island - a haven for native bird life and the only place in New Zealand where you can readily see kiwi in their natural habitat.
Winding between Fortrose and Kaka Point, the Catlins Coast takes you to enthralling wildlife experiences, beautiful waterfalls and rustic, farmland scenery. Beaches, forest walks and nostalgic hospitality will capture your heart.
Stewart Island is an ecological wonderland and is home to New Zealand youngest national park Rakiura National Park. The clamour of civilisation is replaced by rapturous birdsong and sounds of the sea. Meet a Kiwi bird up close, visit Ulva Island bird sanctuary or walk one of the many tracks.
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