Discover the spectacular landscapes, historical Dunedin and meet some fury locals while exploring the lower South.
One of the Southern Hemisphere's best preserved Edwardian and Victorian cities, Dunedin boasts gothic-style architecture and heritage attractions. Visit the historic railway station and marvel at its grandeur, have a hearty meal in the Ale House, built in 1876, or visit the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum to learn about Dunedin's European pioneers.
Take in the dramatic coastal views of Nugget Point, where a lighthouse perches above a scattering of rocky islets (The Nuggets). Spot seals, penguins, and seabirds from the viewing platform, a short stroll from the carpark. Come at sunrise or sunset and don't forget the camera!
Discover Victorian grandeur and intrigue with a visit to Australasia's only castle, Larnach Castle. Built by William Larnach in 1871 and lovingly restored since, the castle offers a fascinating look into Dunedin's history. Wander the award-winning gardens, enjoy high tea in the ballroom cafe or marvel at the sweeping views of Otago Peninsula from the tower.
From a motorcycle mecca, to a heavy-machinery playground, Invercargill is known as the motor capital of New Zealand. Admire more than 300 pristinely-kept vintage vehicles in Transport World, visit a vast motorcycle museum, or get behind the wheel of a bulldozer at Dig This, guaranteed to unleash your inner child.
Visit Bluff, one of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand, and experience the world’s best seafood. Bluff is particularly famous for its Oysters that are slowly grown in the pristine waters of the Foveaux Strait, Oyster Cove Cafe and Land's End Hotel are the places to savour the finest Oysters Bluff has to offer.
Weighing several tonnes and measuring up to two metres in height, the Moeraki Boulders can be found scattered across Koekohe Beach on the Otago Coast. Created about 65 million years ago, the unusal rock formations are easy to get to, fun to skip along and well worth a photo.
If you're looking for rugged beauty, rare wildlife and dramatic coastlines, Southland has it all. Go seal-spotting in Curio Bay, take a tour of Ulva Island wildlife sanctuary, or encounter a kiwi in its natural habitat. For something a bit more adventurous, you can even dive with sharks!
Escape to one of Dunedin's fantastic beaches, only a few minutes’ drive from the city centre. St Clair is a popular surf beach, but other beaches have good breaks too - including Aramoana, Murdering Bay and Karitane. If you just want to swim, Brighton Beach is a beauiful choice, just 20 minutes' drive from Dunedin. Long Beach is good for rock climbing and has huge caves to explore, while Tunnel Beach features a spectacular sandstone sea arch, which is best visited at low tide.
No trip to Oamaru is complete without a visit to the blue penguin colony. These little penguins live around the harbour and for a unique experience you can take up a seat in the viewing stands to witness these little creatures returning from sea to their nests at night.
Stewart Island boasts over 240 km of walking tracks. From short walks to week long adventures you can explore the beaches and rainforests at your own pace. The island is home to New Zealand's largest and most diverse bird population – spot wild kiwi in their natural habitat! There are a range of tour companies that can show you the hidden gems of the island including Stewart Island Experience, Ulva’s Guided Walks, Ruggedy Range, and Beaks and Feathers.