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Southland District Council

Around the Mountains Cycling

Other Things to do in Southland

Short Walks

Southland is a walking paradise, from gentle short walks to a range of outstanding multi day hikes - there is a track for everyone. You will find all of Southland's best short walk tracks within the Southland Short Walks Brochure, downloadable from

  • McLean Falls, The Catlins
  • Waituna Lagoon
  • Estuary Walkway, Invercargill
  • Forest Hill, Winton
  • Croydon Bush walk, Gore
  • Piano Flat, Waikai
  • Back Beach, Riverton
  • Rakatu Wetlands, Blackmount


Southland is renowned for its remarkable hiking tracks that venture into wild and rugged landscapes, so there is no better way to get amongst it all. There is a huge range available catering to many different abilities, so it is important that you select a walk that best suits your skills.

Some of the best hiking spots include:

  • Rakiura Track, Stewart Island
  • Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, Tuatapere
  • Up north into the beech forests of Waikaia Forest and Mavora Lakes
  • River Wisp Loop Track, The Catlins
  • Bluff, the beginning of Te Araroa, New Zealand's national walkway


Southland is a fishing heaven. Under big skies and surrounded by awesome mountain ranges, you can escape all distractions as you cast for brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon.

  • So famous for its fly fishing, Gore is commonly called the 'Brown Trout Capital of the World'
  • The Mataura Valley is known as a 'dry-fly mecca' and is one of the best trout fishing rivers in the world
  • Riverton, The Catlins and Stewart Island offer epic coastlines perfect for seafishing adventures


Southland is a nature lover's playground - a virtually untouched wilderness known for its rare and unique wildlife.

  • Some of the region's best nature excursion include:Meet 115 year old Tuatara, Henry, at the world's leading Tuatara breeding centre - the Southland Museum and Art Gallery
  • Stewart Island, home to the iconic kiwi, robin, tui, dotterel and kaka
  • Ulva Island, a dream destination for bird lvoers. Explore the island sanctuary and discover our most rare and endangered native birdlife including the Mohua/Yellowhead and the Saddleback
  • The Catlins marine life includes Yellow-Eyed Penguins, Hector's dolphin, New Zealand Sea Lion and Fur Seals
  • Go hiking in the high country and keep a look out for giant snails 

Water Adventures

Southland is a region shaped by water - the seas that encircle it, the rivers that run through it and the rain that falls on it. 

Take a minute to admire this force, by:

  • Walking a short hike to see one of the many lakes and waterfalls
  • Kayak or go on a harbour cruise to watch for marine life
  • Unleash the adrenalin on a river jet boat
  • Try one of the swimming pools or safe swimming beaches
  • try your luck with a rod or dive for some local delicacies from the Southland waters
  • Suit up for epic surfing swells around the Catlins, Invercargill and Colac Bay

Arts & Heritage

Thanks to the rich history and the story of Southland is told throughout the region by combining the physical environment, the people and the culture. 

  • Visit Te Hikoi "Southern Journey" Heritage Museum in Riverton
  • Explore Southland's 8 Heritage Trails
  • Visit the many museums throughout the region - Bluff Maritime Museum, Hokonui Moonshine Museum, and the small town museums of Waikaia, Mataura, Waikawa, Otautau and Wyndham

The region also has a rich arts industry and is fortunate to have many museums and aqrt galleries, housing collectionms from both local and international artists.

  • Galleries throughout the region include Southland Museum and Art Gallery, Winton Art Gallery and the Eastern Southland Art Gallery
  • Discover the variety of outdoor art - keep an eye out for the brown trout, the umbrella, the whale tail, and the giant paua to name a few
  • Check out the wonderful array of events held throughout the year, such as Shakespeare, Matariki, Pacifica and Buskers festivals

For more information see


Visitors to the area can enjoy a stress free shopping experience in Southland. 

  • Major centres like Invercargill, Winton and Gore offer a variety of options from bigger chain stores to smaller boutique shops
  • All major populated towns have grocery stores as well as traditional services
  • Plenty of surprises amongst the townships where you can find unique products and local specialties 
  • Take home iconic memores of Southland like Burt Munro memorabilia, regional honey, handmade chocolates, and Paua shell art and craft

Family Fun

There are plenty of activites in Southland to keep the whole family entertained which are affordable, or even free. Visit for all the information on the many parks in the region which include childrens playgrounds, short walks, and gardens. 

A selection of activities the whole family will enjoy:

  • Take on the climbing wall challenge at ILT Stadium Southland
  • Play in the surf or make a sandcastle at Oreti Beach, Riverton Rocks or Colac Bay
  • Try horse trekking on the beach in The Catlins or Invercargill
  • Explore on bikes in Dolamore Park or the Hokonui Hills
  • Go camping at Curio Bay, Monkey Island, Cosy Nook or Fortrose


Southland really does have something for all food lovers. Come savour the south with these must trys:

  • Cheese Rolls
  • Seafood: Bluff Oysters,Stewart Island Salmon, Blue Cod and Crayfish from the Great Southern Ocean, Mussels, Paua and Cockles
  • Handmade Confectionary
  • Mossburn Venison and Tuatapere Sausages
  • Locally Brewed Beer and Hokonui Moonshine Whiskey
  • Sheep Cheese or a Sheeps Milk Coffee
  • Heirloom fruit and vegetables at the Food Forest in Riverton

Classic Motoring

Ever since Burt Munro set the land speed record on his Indian Scout Motorbike, Invercargill has stamped its mark as the Classic Motoring capital of New Zealand. Now home to the biggest private collection of it its type in the world, the Bill Richardson Transport World adds great value to the classic motoring era with around 300 vehicles on display. The soon to open Classic Motorcycle Mecca will house just under 300 motorbikes and motorbike related artwork, a truly world class display. Make sure to visit E Hayes and Sons Motorworks as well where you can see the famous Indian motorcycle that Burt Munro set the record in.

Southern Scenic Route

Voted one of the Top 10 drives in the world by Traveller Magazine, the Southern Scenic Route is a great way to explore the Southland Region. The majestic trip takes you through a world of waterfalls and stunning coastlines in The Catlins, inspiring history and culture in Invercargill through to Stirling Point, Bluff, and the pristine wilderness via Western Southland.

To find out all of the attractions that laid out one after the other along the Southern Scenic Route and for further travel tips visit

Outside Sports
9 Shotover Street, Queenstown

Around the Mountains Cycling