In the southernmost portion of New Zealand’s South Island lies Southland. Southland is known for its incredibly diverse terrain that includes national parks and majestic ice glaciers. With an abundance of activities and sights, it can be hard to pin down a specific itinerary in the region. The sightseeing possibilities are nearly endless. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what to do in Southland when you hire a campervan.
Catlins Coast has something for every kind of nature lover. Among the unique animals, residents are sea lions, penguins and even an array of endangered bird species. A massive rainforest, one of the largest on the east coast of Southland, is home to many types of animals. You can also find the Cathedral Caves, which feature a ceiling of about 30 meters. All in all, the Catlins Coast serves is the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.
Fiordland National Park
This national park is a vacation staple of both Southland and New Zealand. The park features Marian Falls, a stunning set of waterfalls that continue onto Lake Marian. Another majestic lake, Lake Te Anau, has its waters mostly in the park. Perhaps the most popular attractions here are the two amazing fjords, Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Each present unique sights and sounds that contrast with each other. Other hiking trails and caves can be found throughout the park for even more adventure.
Gore, in the center of Southland, is the “Brown Trout Capital of the World”. If you love fishing for brown trout (or any type of fish), Gore is the spot for you. In addition, Gore has a plethora of gardens that make for a romantic date night. A local aircraft company displays old, 20th-century aircrafts. Of course, you’ll also enjoy the beautiful parks and hiking trails.
Have a craving for top-notch seafood? Welcome to Bluff. One of the oldest cities in all of New Zealand, Bluff is located at the southern tip of Southland and is home to Bluff oysters which are widely regarded as some of the best in the world. In addition, the town serves as a gateway to Stewart Island, one of the most special places in New Zealand.
See It All!
Like we said, it can be hard to find and do everything you want to in Southland. But, that’s a good thing! To help on your travels, use this guide to discover the best of the South.