About Southern

MAIN CITIES: Dunedin and Invercargill
Invercargill Airport
Queenstown Airport
CLOSEST MAIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Christchurch International Airport
PROXIMITY TO THE SEA: Coastal in parts
Otago's ski fields: Cardrona, Coronet Peak, Invincible, Ohau, The Remarkables, Snow Farm, Snow Park, Treble Cone
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE. JANUARY: 15℃ (Range: 11℃ - 19℃) - Dunedin
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE. JUNE: 6℃ (Range 3℃ - 10℃) - Dunedin

About Southern

Southland is one of the largest regions in New Zealand with a vast array of lakes, rivers, mountains and open plains. Its rugged coastline stretches staggering 3,400 kilometres; it is mostly free of development and home to countless species of native wildlife.

Known as "the real New Zealand", Southland has stunning scenery, native wildlife, friendly locals and great food. Every one of Southland's regions offers the traveller a unique discovery just waiting to be explored. From the majestic wilderness of Fiordland to the bright lights of Invercargill and the rugged coastline of The Catlins.

Although visitors traditionally come to Southland for its landscape, they stay for its people. The combination of friendly locals, serene surroundings and wide-open spaces make for a relaxed lifestyle.

The DHB has hospitals in Dunedin and Invercargill which are 2.5 hours apart, and facilities through central Otago including Queenstown.



New Zealand’s southernmost city was founded in the 1850’s and with a population in excess of 53,000, Invercargill is the capital of Southland. It is well-equipped with an excellent range of shops and a selection of bars and restaurants. Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco heritage buildings give the city a charming old-world character.


Within the Region:

  • Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track. A 3 day loop walk that takes hikers along the south coast of New Zealand, up to the sub-alpine zone of the Hump Ridge, and over historic viaducts in the heart of native forest.
  • Hoiho (Yellow eyed penguins) and Sea Lions at Waipapa Point. Observe Yellow Eyed Penguins as they come ashore on the 180 million year old Petrified Forest at Curio Bay.
  • Bluff. One of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand and particularly famous for its Oysters that are slowly grown in the pristine waters of the Foveaux Strait.
  • Local craft produce. Craft beers from the Invercargill Brewery. Drams of Hokonui Moonshine in Gore.
  • Lake Hauroko. New Zealand’s deepest lake.
  • Around the Mountains Cycle Trail. Ride through alpine landscapes, historic towns, and past beautiful farmland and lakes.
  • Welcome Rock Bike Trail. An off-road cycling adventure.
  • Stewart Island. Over 240 km of walking tracks. From short walks to week long adventures. The island is home to New Zealand's largest and most diverse bird population – spot wild kiwi in their natural habitat.
  • The Catlins. See fur seals, sea lions and elephant seals at Nugget Point - the only place in New Zealand where all 3 can be seen together.
  • Oreti Beach. One of the few beaches in New Zealand where you can drive your car right out on to the sand – this is where Burt Munro practised in his lead up to setting a world speed record which still stands today.



Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin is the country's city of the south, wearing its Scottish heritage with pride. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. Dunedin is full of wee alley ways, new businesses, bars, restaurants and recreational activities.

A drive up the Otago Peninsula has stunning views and beaches that are beautifully rugged. Nestled at the foot of Taiaroa Head is the Royal Albatross Centre, the only place in the world on the mainland where you can view Northern Royal Albatross in their natural habitat. On Dunedin’s doorstep you will also find incredible wildlife including the world’s rarest penguin colonies.


Within the Region:

  • Signal Hill.  The best downhill mountain bike track in the country.
  • Otago Central Rail Trail. About an hour's drive from Dunedin, Middlemarch forms the start of the this 150km trail which takes in historic gold mining sites, country pubs, and landscapes.
  • Surfing. St Clair surf beach, Aramoana, Murdering Bay and Karitane all have good breaks.
  • Rock Climbing, Long Beach is good for rock climbing and has huge caves to explore.
  • Dunedin Street Art Trail. 25 artworks from international and local artists, painted on giant, blank-wall canvases.
  • Writers’ Walk. A series of plaques featuring entertaining and informative quotes about Dunedin and its heritage. Dunedin is a UNESCO designated City of Literature.
  • Taieri Gorge Railway. A picturesque journey through the Central Otago hinterland: across the Taieri Plains and into the deep and narrow Taieri Gorge and over the Wingatui Viaduct, the largest wrought iron structure in the world.
  • Larnach Castle. New Zealand's only castle is an important and much loved piece of Dunedin history. Built in 1871 by William Larnach, a merchant and politician born of Scottish parents, Larnach Castle has been carefully restored to its original Victorian grandeur, and its beautiful rooms and many gardens are open to the public 365 days a year.
  • Orokonui Ecosanctuary. 20 km north of Dunedin. See tuatara lizards and 17 species of native birds, including kiwi. On the coast of the Otago Peninsula you can spot little blue penguins, yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and sea lions.