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Southland

Experience

 

  • The Southland region is the southernmost of New Zealand, Invercargill is located right near the bottom of the country and is the regions biggest township. One of the main attractions in the region is Fiordland National Park, nearly as big as all of our other National Parks combined, the vast and untouched wilderness to be found in Fiordland is truly impressive. It is home to 13 seperate sounds including the famous Milford Sound, towering mountains, thundering waterfalls that drop into the sea and much more.

    Southland also includes Stewart Island, with the Rakiura National Park covering 85% of the Island's 1570 square kilometres, as well as sharing the stunning Catlins Coast with Otago. At times you can see the southern lights thanks to minimal light pollution and clear skies. 

  • 1 Fiordland National park
  • 2 Rakiura National Park
  • 3 Te Anau
  • 4 Milford Sound
  • 5 Doubtful Sound
  • 6 Manapouri
  • 7 Stewart Island
  • 8 Milford Track (Great Walk)
  • 9 Routebourn Track (Great Walk)
  • 10 Kepler Track (Great Walk)
  • 11 Rakiura Track (Great Walk)
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Fiordland National park

 

Fiordland National Park is located on the far south west of the South Island. The National Park covers a massive area of over 12,000 km² and is one of New Zealand’s most important natural landscapes. Deep ocean Fiords rising up to huge towering peaks makes for an amazing experience upon visiting the National Park, it is no wonder it is on many photographers’ top destinations to visit.

You can experience the National Park via boat tours that run daily from Milford Sound and doubtful sound or you can choose to hit some of the country’s most amazing hikes. Famous hikes in this area include great walk such as the Milford Track, Routebourn Track and Kepler Track, ranging from distances of 32 km up to 60km this can be one of the best ways to experience the beautiful native forest and wildlife we have.

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Photo Credit: Rob Suisted

Rakiura National Park

 

Rukiura National Park is located on Stewart island just off the most southern point of the South Island. This amazing National Park covers and area of around 85% of the entire island, helping to preserve New Zealand’s native forests and birds. The National Park covers and area of around 1400 km² and is one of the most popular destinations for viewing the native Kiwi bird. Great ways to get around and see the Rakiura National Park include the Rakiura Track Great Walk which covers the distance of the around 32 km looping you around the National Park around 3 days.

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Photo Credit: Miles Holden

Te Anau

 

Te Anau is the town located in the South Island near the Fiordland National Park. Te Anau makes for a great base when visiting Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park as it provides amazing accommodation options and the beautiful lake Te Anau now on your doorstep. There are number of activities to do around Te Anau including boat tours on the lake, glowworm caves, kayaking and scenic flights. Many tourists rave about the accommodation in Te Anau with options including campgrounds, lodges and hotels there are many places to pick from. Many of the tours for Fiordland National Park leave from Te Anau and can be booked in town.

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Milford Sound

 

Milford Sound is an amazing place, located in Fiordland National Park it’s a ranked world heritage site that exhibit so much beautiful scenery. Think huge towering snow-capped peaks with high tree lines dropping down sharply into huge ocean inlets. You can even view the Southern lights at different times of the year and due to no major cities in this area there’s minimal light pollution. There are many boat tours operating out of the sound and can all be found in the same area. It pays to get on the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound early in the morning to avoid most traffic as the road has to follow its way around and under large mountains. It’s recommended hiring a car or catching a bus to get around this region and please to be clean and tidy with rubbish as the nature and ecosystems are of great importance to New Zealand and the world! Top things to do around this area include Milford Sound boat cruises, Milford Track Great Walk, Kayak Tours and the Eglinton Valley Walk.

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Doubtful Sound

 

Doubtful sound is located in Fiordland on the far west of the South Island. Doubtful sound is a large fiord covering and area of 40 km long and has depths of over 420m deep! The sound is virtually untouched with amazing pristine Clear waters, towering peaks cover and luscious green forests it makes for amazing place to visit. Tours by boat are an amazing to see this fiord and in all its true beauty, there are several companies that run tour from Queenstown and Te Anau depending on where you want to depart from. If going on a boat tour doesn’t tickle your fancy parts of the Old Doubtful Sound Track are still open and will give you a real challenge/intimate experience into New Zealand’s rugged and beautiful native forests.

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Photo Credit: Rob Suisted

Manapouri

The Southland region is the southernmost of New Zealand, Invercargill is located right near the bottom of the country and is the regions biggest township. One of the main attractions in the region is Fiordland National Park, nearly as big as all of our other National Parks combined, the vast and untouched wilderness to be found in Fiordland is truly impressive. It is home to 13 seperate sounds including the famous Milford Sound, towering mountains, thundering waterfalls that drop into the sea and much more.

Southland also includes Stewart Island, with the Rakiura National Park covering 85% of the Island's 1570 square kilometres, as well as sharing the stunning Catlins Coast with Otago. At times you can see the southern lights thanks to minimal light pollution and clear skies. 

 

Manapouri is a small town located on the edge of Fiordland National Park in the South Island. With the town located just 20 minutes away from Lake Te Anau it makes for a great day trip destination. There are many walkways/cycleways within the area giving a nice way to get out and see the beautiful scenery this in corner of the country. Lake Manapouri has been rated one of the top places in the country for kayak exploration because the lake has many twists and turns revealing coves, waterfalls and beaches around every corner. There are many activities to do around this area and some great tour companies running them including fly fishing, boat cruises, hike guiding and many more.

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Stewart Island

 

Stewart Island is the third largest island in New Zealand and located off the southern tip of the South Island. The island is covered by National Park making up an area of 85% and is also famous for being one of the last departing locations to be seen before pioneers sailed off to Antarctica. Stewart Island is relatively untouched and shows how rugged and beautiful New Zealand’s natural landscapes are, it’s also is home to a large population of the native Kiwi bird. There are many reasons for visiting Stewart Island ranging from Great White Shark cage diving and to native bird spotting tours. You can either fly in by plane/helicopter or ferry to reach the island and there are some great accommodation options around the island.

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Photo Credit: Miles Holden

Milford Track (Great Walk)

 

The Milford Track (great Walk) is located in Fiordland National Park in the South Island. The Milford track usually takes 5 days/4 nights with the distance of 54 km and is rated moderate difficulty. The scenery consists of high snowy peaks, deep misty valleys and pristine Alpine Lakes also rounded by native bush. Doing this walk is a dream from many tourists and New Zealanders alike, and with a maximum of 40 walkers on the track each day it’s no wonder it’s one of the best kept tracks and national parks in the country. Booking on the great walks is needed due to limited places and accommodation, so book well in advance if this track has been on your bucket list for a while!

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Routebourn Track (Great Walk)

 

The Routebourn Track is located in the Otago region and is one of New Zealand’s great walks. The track is 33 km one way and usually done between two and four days with multiple stops in D.O.C huts being made along the way. This is one of the easier great walks in New Zealand and is rated intermediate to easy, whether you are planning to do the track solo or with a group there are many drop-off/pick up options available from tour/transport of companies within the region. It’s not called a great walk for nothing there are some amazing views of surrounding mountain peaks, deep misty valleys and luscious green forests, the Routebourn Track will leave you wanting to see more of this beautiful country! This walk along with many other great walks are becoming very popular so be sure to book well in advance for accommodation.

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Photo Credit: Miles Holden

Kepler Track (Great Walk)

The Southland region is the southernmost of New Zealand, Invercargill is located right near the bottom of the country and is the regions biggest township. One of the main attractions in the region is Fiordland National Park, nearly as big as all of our other National Parks combined, the vast and untouched wilderness to be found in Fiordland is truly impressive. It is home to 13 seperate sounds including the famous Milford Sound, towering mountains, thundering waterfalls that drop into the sea and much more.

Southland also includes Stewart Island, with the Rakiura National Park covering 85% of the Island's 1570 square kilometres, as well as sharing the stunning Catlins Coast with Otago. At times you can see the southern lights thanks to minimal light pollution and clear skies. 

 

The Kepler track is located in Fiordland National Park in the far south west of the South Island. The Kepler track is 60 km long and usually done over 4 days, reaching the track is approximately a two-hour drive from Queenstown and only 5 minutes from Te Anau. Most people choose to stay in Te Anau before departure and booking D.O.C huts well in advance as the great walk becomes popular over summer months. The scenery is spectacular along the track with constant views of surrounding blue lakes, snowy mountain peaks and deep green forests you’re in constant appreciation for New Zealand’s natural beauty. Due to the track looping back around to it to original start point pick-ups and drop-offs are not needed unless travelling from further abroad such as destinations like Queenstown. Upon getting out after 4 days of hiking you’ll be pleasantly surprised to how many great restaurants there are in Te Anau.

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Rakiura Track (Great Walk)

 

The Rakiura Track is located on Stewart island the most southern point of New Zealand. 32 km loop traffic is usually done over three days and is the best way to experience Stuart Island and it’s amazing Rakiura National Park which covers 85% of the island. On the walk you’ll get to experience amazing views of the surrounding coastline, native bush, wildlife and other friendly hikers on the track! Doing this track is a real getaway for people as the serenity and peace and quiet is a great way to calm the mind before returning to every day life. Along the track there are several huts and campsites all manage by the Department of Conservation be sure to book well in advance as spots fill up quickly! Due to high numbers of the native Kiwi bird here you may even hear them during the night or get a chance to see you and if you’re lucky.

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