South Island, New Zealand
Southland is New Zealand's most southern region and is a sparsely populated, wild landscape famed for its native bird sanctuaries and sustainability projects. The largest city in Southland is Invercargill, and with its laid-back country town feel, Scottish heritage and legendary hospitality, it is a great place to base yourself while exploring this pristine region.
Southland Holidays Planner
Just south of Invercargill you'll find the fishing port of Bluff, the source of the famous Bluff oyster, a delicacy that is highly sought-after throughout New Zealand and the top restaurants of the world. The oyster season is celebrated every year in May with The Bluff Oyster and Seafood Festival. Bluff is also the departure point for the ferry over to rugged Stewart Island, a haven for some of New Zealand's rarest birds, such as the iconic Kiwi, the kereru (native wood pigeon) and the bellbird.
According to Maori folklore, Stewart Island was known as 'Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui' (the anchor stone of Maui's canoe). They believe that the North Island is a fish that the great ancestor Maui pulled up from the ocean, and the South Island is his canoe, with Stewart Island being the anchor stone. Rakiura National Park covers more than 85% of Stewart Island and offers magnificent coastal views and walking tracks. Ulva Island, a short water-taxi ride from Stewart Island, has been a Department of Conservation bird sanctuary since 1997. Curio Bay on the Catlins coast is home to a unique fossilised forest, millions of years old. At low tide you can view the fallen trees and petrified stumps, and the area is also known for its colony of yellow-eyed penguins. Southland is one of New Zealand's finest trout fishing destinations, with 28 top fishing rivers and streams to enjoy.
Southland Accommodation Search
Tour and accommodation providers in Southland are committed to preserving this unique region through responsible eco-tourism. You'll find many lodges and homestays in breathtaking locations, many of which are sustainable 'green buildings' that utilise off-the-grid energy such as solar and wind power. Please search for our favourite accommodations in Southland to find current availability and get the best room rates from over 100 booking sources: