A mollyhawk. © Dianne Manson/Stringer

Loved by the locals: Southland


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1. Visit Porpoise/Curio bays

Hectors dolphins. Beanbags shaped like sea lions, and sometimes also the real thing. A petrified forest stretch of coast. Beautiful sandy beach. Fun waves. What more could you ask for? Stay a day, a week, a month. There are plenty of accommodation options and an ambiance that will make you not want to leave.

2. Walk to Key Summit

This is a track from The Divide on the highway between Te Anau and Milford Sound. Also the first part of the Routeburn Track, a one to two-hour gentle uphill walk on a well-formed trail leads to spectacular views of the Darran Mountains as well as over Hollyford Valley stretching out to Martins Bay on the West Coast.

Not impressed

A post shared by Casey (@caseytheboy) on Mar 16, 2017 at 1:28pm PDT

3. Travel to Stewart Island

By air or sea, it doesnt matter. Just go.

It surprises me how many Kiwis wonder about our third largest island but never make the effort to see it for themselves.

There is heaps to do, but make sure you visit Ulva Island to experience how the birdlife used to be before all of the introduced predators took over.

🌊 #newzealand #southisland #stewartisland #ulvaisland #boulderbeach

A post shared by lucasbresolin urban&wild (@thebrazilianmonkey) on Jan 6, 2017 at 3:58am PST

4. Drive to the top of Bluff Hill

Rising as a barrier above the coastal settlement of Bluff at the bottom of the South Island, Motupohue offers great views across Foveaux Strait towards Stewart Island. While you're taking in the scenery, imagine trying to bike up the steep road as competitors are required to on the Tour of Southland.

5. Hike one of the Great Walks

It doesnt matter which one as they are all incredible. There are four to choose from in Southland: Milford, Kepler, Routeburn and Rakiura. You will need to book the huts beforehand and, during peak season, some of them can get rather busy. But they are busy for a very good reason.

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Things to do while you're here

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Things to do

Remote Southland: the quirk and the sublime

There's a great deal to love in the emptiness and wildness of Curio and Porpoise bays. Particularly when you're looking for uncrowded waves to ride. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Nugget Point Tokatā walks

Enjoy dramatic coastal views from the Tokatā Lighthouse and spot seals, penguins and other seabirds on these short walks. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Rakiura National Park: glowing skies

Around 85 percent of Stewart Island is included in Rakiura National Park, our most recently formed national park which exudes all the charm of a world on its own. Read the story . . . 

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Food and drink

Bluff Oyster Festival: unsophisticated and proud of it!

Where are the internationally renowned delicacy known as Bluff oysters likely to taste best? Bluff, did you say? You’re good at this! Exactly. Read the story . . . 

Where to stay in Southland Region

Bluff Camping Ground

For your stop-off to Stewart Island. A place to stay in the south. 3 x cabin units. Excellent hard, grass powered sites. Centrally located. . . . More . . . 

From $15
Tumu Toka Curioscape

Relax and unwind in our unique coastal campsite - the perfect spot for a break on your journey. Stay, Eat, and Explore the Catlins. . . . More . . . 

From $15
Balfour Tavern & Motel

Welcome to the Balfour Tavern and Motel.Located in the heart of northern Southland, Balfour is a peaceful rural town, close to Fiordland and Queenstown. . . . More . . . 

4.9 /5
4.9 /5
Best Price Around
The Reservation B&B

Welcome to our stunning property in the heartland of the South overlooking Gore. Three stylish Queen rooms, and a Executive style studio unit in a . . . More . . . 

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