Typically, I discover myself dwelling on the areas the place I spend probably the most time in New Zealand; I’m the sort of one who likes to return to locations I really like time and again. And for some purpose, I’m at all times drawn to go to Southland. Contemplating I’ve referred to as close by Wanaka house for a decade, I suppose that is smart. For us, the south coast is our closest shoreline. Once we search the ocean, we head south.
Reversed from the northern hemisphere, the additional south you go in New Zealand, the colder and wilder it will get. Is smart. The subsequent cease is Antarctica.
For me, these wild locations converse to my soul. I really like rugged coastlines that scent alive, like seaweed. So lots of our biggest seabirds thrive in these sorts of locations. And did I point out the views? Epic, to say the least.
McCracken’s Relaxation is a lookout on the sting of the cliff overlooking Te Waewae Bay.
Stretching alongside the southern shoreline, Southland sits proper subsequent to Fiordland, my favourite nationwide park and mountainous area. Dwelling to a few spots that I by no means get bored with visiting, Riverton, the Catlins, and naturally, Stewart Island, Southland is the sort of place that will get beneath your pores and skin.
There’s one thing easy and primal about it.
From the enduring Nugget Level Lighthouse to in search of kiwi on Stewart Island to browsing in Riverton, there is no such thing as a scarcity of distinctive adventures available should you go to Southland. Each time you go to, you’ll uncover one thing new.
Listed here are 30 of my favourite photographs after I go to Southland – take pleasure in!
I’m stealing the title of this bach/crib in the future “Paua Dise” – paua are New Zealand abalone, ample alongside the South Coast, and an actual delicacy right here.
Riverton and Te Waewae Bay
Riverton is a spot I’ve been visiting since 2013. A 3-hour drive from Wanaka, Riverton is a spot lots of goes to when we have to get away and be by the ocean. Dwelling to quirky locals, nice browsing, and plenty of cute baches or cribs as they’re referred to as in Southland (vacation houses) to remain in, Riverton is iconic.
The drive down from Te Anau or Wanaka brings you thru rolling inexperienced hills and locations with a number of historical past. The street alongside Te Waewae Bay from Tuatapere alongside the shoreline via Colac Bay to Riverton is beautiful. Rain or shine, this nook of Southland is simply stunning. That is the place I discovered (or tried to be taught) to surf and the place I spent many lengthy weekends with pals curled up by the fireplace and going for lengthy walks on the seaside.
Riverton itself is artsy – hippy- fisherman-y, a moderately bizarre mixture that by some means is smart whenever you go to. And don’t overlook to take a look at the Te Hikoi Museum – it shares the historical past of the south coast, and it’s been accomplished up rather well. I left with half a dozen books from the reward store.
The Clifden Suspension Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in New Zealand. There’s one thing so nostalgic and delightful in these outdated purple bridges dotted round this a part of the South Island. I can’t assist however cease to examine them out.
Surprisingly, I had by no means walked alongside the enduring Gemstone Seaside til this yr! Semi-precious gems equivalent to garnet, jasper, quartz, and nephrite have been identified to look right here amongst the colourful stones. Maybe it’s my inside baby, however there’s one thing so nostalgic and wonderful about spending a couple of hours foraging and in search of fascinating pebbles alongside a seaside.
Orepuki Seaside Cafe is a tremendous eating spot simply previous Gemstone Seaside in Southland. There’s actual coronary heart and soul right here, which manifests delightfully of their farm and garden-to-table meals. Sitting on eight hectares of pasture, they produce their very own lamb and beef. Additionally they develop a lot of the meals you see on the menu. Overlooking Te Waewae Bay and the Longwoods Forest, the constructing was constructed round 1885.
Cosy Nook is an enthralling little cove on the south coast that’s house to outdated baches. Initially referred to as Pahi, it was one of many largest Māori villages within the space.
Riverton is house to a quiet foodie revolution – forest gardens, the best motion I had by no means heard of. The South Coast Atmosphere Centre is a hub for sustainability and permaculture tasks, and it’s the place I obtained to satisfy Robyn, the powerhouse behind the motion. 25 years in the past, Robyn and her household planted some timber and threw some seeds on a scrubby little bit of land, which has now remodeled into an unbelievable forest backyard. By permitting nature to take its course, you may develop an enormous array of meals in a self-sustaining manner. You’ll be able to even go to the forest gardens your self in Riverton. Robyn has additionally been pioneering the Heritage Orchard Challenge, which is preserving many species and styles of orchard and fruit timber that had been planted by early settlers on outdated farms, lots of which get pulled down with new improvement.
The view from the deck on the Riverton Beachfront Home is nearly as epic because it comes. It’s the proper place to base your self whereas hanging out in Riverton.
On the underside proper nook of New Zealand, you’ll discover the tiny however mighty area of the Catlins. One other underrated but completely wonderful hotspot, the Catlins, is house to a few of our most unusual wildlife, stunning seashores, wonderful historical past, and wonderful locations to cover away in.
I’ve at all times considered the Catlins because the land of rainbows. Absolutely there’s a pot of gold ready for me right here. Or perhaps just a few sheep. Both manner, the rolling inexperienced hills, the waterfalls, and the countless rainbows converse to my coronary heart.
That is positively some of the scenic lighthouses in New Zealand. I haven’t been to Nugget Level within the Catlins in a very long time. It was wonderful to return on a sunny summer season day whereas road-tripping round Southland. Whereas taking within the beautiful views from the enduring Nugget Level Lighthouse, be certain to take a while and look down. I watched seals frolic within the waves because the sunshine glinted off the golden kelp. The colour of the water right here is unreal.
I haven’t been to Purakaunui Falls in such a very long time, and it made my coronary heart flutter with sudden nostalgia to return right here whereas exploring the Catlins once more. As you journey inland, you’ll find many waterfalls hidden amongst the forests. McLean Falls, Purakaunui Falls, and Matai Falls are among the most iconic waterfalls within the Catlins.
A curious tomtit following me across the Catlins.
The Lake Wilkie observe within the Catlins is a good place for birdwatching
Discovered solely in New Zealand, the Hooker sea lion/rāpoka/whakahao is definitely fairly weak and loves to go to Southland. As soon as, they had been discovered everywhere in the coastlines right here, solely to be hunted near extinction by sealers within the nineteenth century. Most of them now breed on the subantarctic islands, like on the Auckland Islands, the place I’ve had the pleasure(?) of seeing their colonies. It was very cool and really traumatic. I’d by no means want to be a feminine sea lion; that’s all I’m saying. Fortunate for us, the primary sea lion pup in over 100 years was born again on the mainland in 1993, and now you may see these mighty critters alongside among the seashores within the Catlins, together with right here at Cannibal Bay. I feel the final rule is to maintain 20 meters away from these guys. They’re massive, pungent, and surprisingly quick. Finest noticed from a distance.
Beresford Heights is located deep within the coronary heart of the Catlins, 400 meters above sea stage on Desk Hill. Lovingly constructed and cared for by the Burgess household, who’ve been farming the encircling land for generations. It overlooks the unbelievable Southland panorama, making this off-the-grid retreat is the proper getaway. Snug, cozy, and nearly excellent, it’s the perfect spot for getting away from all of it someplace stunning.
There are few issues on this world that may entice me to get away from bed earlier than dawn, and penguins are one in every of them. The hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin is likely one of the rarest penguins in New Zealand, and you may typically discover them lurking across the Catlins shoreline. The beautiful household on the Catlins Mohua Park, an epic eco-accommodation close by, can take you out on a dawn tour to a secret spot to observe them emerge from the bush. Squeaking their wee hearts out earlier than diving into the ocean for the day. These creatures are so particular, even when they get up manner too early.
You guys already understand how a lot I really like Stewart Island and the way giant of an area it holds in my coronary heart after my expertise with the pilot whale stranding there in 2018. New Zealand’s third island is an hour-long ferry crossing from Bluff or a fast flight over from Invercargill.
I’ll at all times love Stewart Island. It’s one in every of my favourite locations on the planet, and I by no means get bored with returning, though it holds some painful recollections for me. It’s such a particular a part of New Zealand, and it’s price exploring.
On this journey, I used to be fortunate sufficient to remain at Stewart Island’s latest lodging, the Argyle Flats, trendy and delightful, proper in Oban. As a result of Oban is basically small, you’ve obtained to ebook your lodging and your meals usually effectively prematurely. These days, there’s a brand new gourmand meals truck referred to as Fin and Feather that I dined at each day. As soon as the solar set, I met up with wonderful people at Beaks and Feathers for some nighttime kiwi recognizing – we noticed six,includinf some chicks a brand new report for me!
Mollymawk on the wing, with the tiniest, graze on the water. Watching these unbelievable creatures soar round Stewart Island will make your coronary heart sing. Huge but swish, the albatross will at all times be a favourite chicken for me. Particularly after they land, which isn’t swish in any respect.
How cute is that this Stewart Island robin or toutouwai? I really like seeing robins within the bush in New Zealand. Pleasant and curious, they don’t appear to shrink back from folks. Inspired by our tramping boots disturbing the forest flooring, they typically eagerly await to examine for bugs and bugs to nibble on. If you happen to cease and sit nonetheless, the can develop into very curious, making for wonderful experiences.
Have you ever had the possibility to go to Southland but? The place’s your fave spot? What’s excessive in your listing of locations to go to? Spill!
Many because of Nice South for internet hosting me in Southland; like at all times, I’m preserving it actual – like you could possibly count on much less from me!