Monday, November 18, 2013


Rugged coastline, spectacular wildlife and world-famous Bluff oysters – what's not to love about Southland?

At the end of the month, Southland will host its signature event – the Burt Munro Challenge – in honour of the Invercargill motorcycle racer who famously set three world speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Hundreds of riders will compete in a series of events including the Bluff Hill Climb, Oreti Beach Racing Champs, Teretonga Sprint Races, and the Wyndham Street Races.

There’s no doubt that Invercargill revs into life at this time of year. However, if you’re after a more serene introduction to Southland’s largest centre, take a trip to Queens Park and explore 80 hectares of glorious gardens and tree-lined walkways.

Just half an hour away is the port town of Bluff – famous for its oysters and the popular Bluff Oyster and Food festival in May (quick tip: book your accommodation well in advance!). And don’t forget to take a photograph underneath the iconic world distance signpost at Stirling Point.

Stewart Island is a one-hour ferry trip across Foveaux Strait and the ideal spot for bird watching, including the Kiwi in its native habitat. If you’re there for a few days, walk the remarkable Rakiura Track – a 36 km circuit of beaches, forest climbs and traverses.

On the southeastern corner of the South Island is an area known as The Catlins where you’ll discover hidden waterfalls, rare native birdlife, and a 180-million-year-old fossilised forest at Curio Bay.

If it’s an abundance of wildlife you’re after, you can’t go past Nugget Point – home to fur seals, sea lions, sooty shearwaters, shags, yellow-eyed penguins, spoonbills, gannets, and Hector’s dolphins. Enjoy the view from the lighthouse overlooking the collection of wave-eroded rocks in the shape of gold nuggets.

Western Southland is a hub of outdoor activities including fishing, flying and tramping. The Mataura River in Gore has the highest population and catch rates of brown trout than any river in New Zealand.

And it’s not just the fish that are friendly. The people of Southland are renowned for their warm hospitality and you can experience this for yourself by checking in to the Bavarian Motel or Surrey Court Motels in Invercargill – the perfect base to explore everything Southland has to offer.

If you're planning a trip to Southland, book your accommodation with Host today!

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