SOUTHLAND REGION - NEW ZEALAND
Southland is New Zealand 's southernmost region and includes New Zealand 's third island, Stewart Island .
The lush, green pastoral lands of Southland are a strong contrast to the dryness of Central Otago further north. Throughout the Southland region are a number of accessible, tranquil waterways that attract fly-fishing enthusiasts in search of brown trout.
Southland's largest urban centre is Invercargill , a city of 49,000 people. Visitors come to admire the elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings, gardens and landscaped parks. As in Dunedin to the north, Invercargill was originally settled by people from Scotland .
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 .
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NZstays - Hightlights of Southland
A half hour drive south from Invercargill is the fishing port of Bluff —home to the famous Bluff oyster and the annual Bluff Oyster and Southland Seafood Festival. Once you`ve tasted a Bluff oyster, no other oyster will do!
From Bluff, visitors can catch a ferry to Stewart Island . The island can also be reached by air from Invercargill . Stewart Island is a haven for native bird life and the only place in New Zealand where you can readily see kiwi in their natural habitat.
The island is large—64 kilometres long and 40 kilometres across, so don`t expect to walk around it in a day—or even a week! It has a 700 kilometre coastline, but there are only 20 kilometres of roads! As well as kiwi, the island is home to many other native bird varieties—including kaka, tui and bellbird. Sea birds abound off-shore. albatross , petrels, cormorants, gulls and blue penguins are common. Rarer species like yellow-eyed penguins ( hoiho ) are also seen often.
Southland also has large areas of near-pristine rainforest, ideal for day walks and hiking. Curio Bay on the Catlins Coast is one of the geological wonders of the world. This petrified forest of subtropical kauri and other trees dates back to the Jurassic age, 135 to 190 million years ago.
NZstays - Main Centres in Southland
Invercargill - Southland`s main city
Gore - Southland`s brown trout fishing centre
Bluff - fishing port at the end of the Island
Stewart Island - the largest Island in New Zealand aside from the North and South Islands.
NZstays - Southland Region
It’s easy to navigate around the wide streets of Invercargill. New Zealand’s southernmost city has plenty of character and a warm, friendly heart.
Gore is the official home of country music in New Zealand. It’s also known for great fly fishing – or maybe you’d rather go flying in a Tiger Moth!
From Halfmoon Bay you can launch yourself onto the tracks of Rakiura National Park. It’s a fishing town, so expect fantastic seafood.
For travellers exploring the Catlins, Owaka is a great place to take a break. The museum and information centre will quickly expand your local knowledge.
Stewart Island is a hiker’s paradise. From tall forest to windswept alpine herbfields, the natural habitats are about as pure as you can get.
Winton is a typical Southland town, with rivers for trout fishing and farmstays for a taste of rural living. Peace and quiet are guaranteed.