Southland Recreation

With world heritage ranked Fiordland National Park and Rakiura/Stewart Island which is 85% national park, the outdoor recreation opportunities available in Southland are vast.
General recreation information

Southland has many stunning natural attractions all over the region, including forests, beaches, sounds, lakes, rivers, and gardens.

Southland | Tourism New Zealand

Events | Southland NZ

Sport and recreation

New Zealanders enjoy a huge range of sporting activities. 

Check these sites to see what’s available in Southland and how you can get involved.

Find a sport | Active Southland

Sport and Recreation | Invercargill City Council

Sport and Recreation | Gore District Council

Splash Palace | Invercargill City Council

Clubs and groups

New Zealanders enjoy a wide range of sporting activities. Joining a club or team is a great way to meet people.

Your local community center may also run many different social activities and groups for the community to join. 

The Citizen's Advice Bureau website also lists local clubs.

Gore Ice Rink | Ice Sports Southland

Sports in Southland | Citizens Advice Bureau

Outdoors

Tracks and Walks

Southland has many amazing walking tracks, from short hour-long tracks to multiday tramping adventures.

The region is also home to four of the country's 10 Great Walks.

You can find more information about the region's walking tracks on the Department of Conservation website.

You can find parks and open spaces available near you on your local council's website.

Walks in Southland | Department of Conservation

Visit our parks | Invercargill City Council

Parks and reserves | Southland District Council

Parks & recreation | Gore District Council

Cycling

You can explore much of Southland's scenery on its great outdoor cycling tracks.

Invercargill is also home to New Zealand's first indoor velodrome. 

Mountain Biking and Cycling | Southland NZ

SIT Zero Fees Velodrome Opportunities | Cycling Southland

Hunting and fishing rules

Both fishing and hunting are a big part of life for many in the Southland region.

There are rules you must follow when hunting or fishing in New Zealand, and there can be serious penalties for breaching them.

The rules and tips for hunting on public conservation land are on the Department of Conservation website.

Information about fresh water fishing, game bird hunting, and how to buy a licence is on the Fish and Game NZ website.

Rules for fishing and gathering shellfish in the sea is on the Ministry of Primary Industries website. 

Find places to go hunting | Department of Conservation

Licences | Fish and Game Southland

Southland area fishing rules | Ministry for Primary Industries

Fiordland area fishing rules | Ministry for Primary Industries

Animal regulations

New Zealand has various laws about looking after and controlling dogs and other animals.

Each council has their own bylaws so check out your local council website for details. 

Animal Control | Invercargill City Council

Animal Control | Southland District Council

Dogs & Other Animals | Gore District Council

Art and culture

Museums and galleries

There are many museums and art galleries in the region for all types of interests and attractions, including Southland Museum and Art Gallery's Tuatarium, which is home to more than 100 tuatara (one of New Zealand's most iconic and endangered native lizard species), and Bill Richardson Transport World which houses hundreds of classic vehicles.

Check out these websites for more details.

Southland | NZ Museums

Museums | Invercargill City Council

Events

Southland holds many events annually which bring visitors from all over New Zealand.

One of the most famous of these is the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival. Thousands of people come to the region every year to eat the national delicacy and take part in the celebrations.

Another highlight of the year is the Burt Munro Challenge. Motorcycle enthusiasts pack the city of Invercargill for a week of adrenalin filled racing.

Home | Bluff Oyster & Food Festival

Home | Burt Munro Challenge

What's On | Southland NZ

Shopping

There is a wide range of shopping opportunities in Southland including department stores, gorgeous boutiques, high street shopping, and a great range of vintage/thrift stores.

Shopping | Southland NZ

Markets

You can get a taste of Southland's great produce direct from the local producer, every Sunday morning in Invercargill and Te Anau.

Southern Farmers' Market | Southland NZ

Fiordland Sunday Market | Southland NZ