Untouched Southland is known for its rare and unique wildlife - you can expect tuatara, dolphins, whales and more.

Head to the Catlins to encounter some of the world's rarest wildlife - home to the Yellow-Eyed Penguin, Hookers Sea Lion and Hector's Dolphin (the smallest in the world), the Catlins offers the opportunity to see these magnificent animals up close in the wild.

Or, take a boat tour. Experienced locals will take you to the best spots. If you're a bird lover, you'll be able to see Albatross, petrels and turns (as well as many other bird species) in Southland.

A horse trek is a great way to explore the region, or if you would like to see live tuatara - known as 'living dinosaurs' - head to the Southland Museum. The only beak-headed reptile in the world, tuatara can live for over 100 years and are fascinating reptiles to experience close-up - especially 116-year-old Henry.

Southland is also home to the kakapo, the rare parrot voted as the world's most-loved species. Sirocco the kakapo is Southland's official conservation ambassador and the cheeky star of a Stephen Fry documentary.

If you're still after more, catch a glimpse of a Takahe in Te Anau, find out about the fascinating Mutton-birding traditions of local Maori in Bluff, or try and spot a whale off the coast of Western Southland.

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