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Rugged, natural, unspoilt, untouched green, contrasting landscape all describe Southland. It is a fertile place of green farmland and forest, laced with sparkling clean waters and friendly small towns. Mountains loom on the western and northern horizon with the rugged south coast forming our eastern and southern borders.

Southland offers some of the world's best brown trout fishing, world renown Bluff oyster, while garden enthusiasts gasp in awe of the magnificence and beauty of the abundant gardens. The Southland Museum and Art Gallery is home to the only living species from the Dinosaur Age - the tuatara.

Stewart Island is New Zealand's third largest island and once you arrive you will know you have come to a very special place. It is a haven for native birdlife and the only place in New Zealand where kiwis can be seen in their natural habitat. Tramping the many tracks, sea kayaking, fishing, walking on the bird sanctuary, Ulva Island are some of the exciting things you can do on this special island.

The Southern Scenic Route

The Southern Scenic Route forms a link between Fiordland, Invercargill (New Zealand's southernmost city famous for its hospitality) and Dunedin. You pass through the Catlins with its abundance of wildlife: sealions, seals, penguins and dolphins. Enjoy the beaches, caves, waterfalls and walks.Other activities to enjoy are fishing, walking, kiwi spotting, kayaking and jet boating. Southland offers a variety of quality accommodation, from friendly B&B's to 5 star accommodation.

The Catlins is a name that conjures up images of a corner of New Zealand untainted by the modern world - a place where time has stood still and a visitor may enjoy forest, wildlife and the life-style of a bygone era. This image is a true reflection. Accidents of history have favoured protection of the Catlins and it still retains many accessible wildlife havens in its varied hill and scenic coast.

Visitors to the Catlins should plan to stay at least two or three days to fully explore this very unique area with its wildlife and spectacular natural places. The Catlins is a great place to stay and enjoy, and to get a little off the beaten track!

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