Beaches in Southland

Photo by bgwashburn


About Southland, NZ

Southland is the most southwestern region of New Zealand. This incredibly diverse region is known for its beautiful coastline and abundant wildlife and nature. Southland also holds pristine Stewart Island and stunning Milford Sound.

On Southland’s western coastline, Milford Sound and Fiordland (one of two national parks in the region) beckon sightseers with their towering peaks, snow-capped mountains, valleys, and forests. South of Southland’s mainland, Stewart Island, New Zealand’s third-largest island. This island holds Rakiura National Park and more brown kiwis than people, making it the perfect place for wildlife lovers and birdwatchers. East is the Catlins, which boasts a picturesque coast and rainforests inland that are home to many endangered species.

You’ll discover a variety of breathtaking landscapes in Southland, such as rugged coastlines, fishing ports, rolling plains, lush rainforests, and caves. There are also lots of swimming spots in Southland, ranging from coastal beaches to inland lakes, rivers, and waterfalls.


Swimming Water Quality in Southland

Environment Southland Regional Council monitors 33 swimming spots in Southland. These sample sites include 26 coastal beaches and 7 rivers, which are sampled from December 1 to March 31 on a weekly basis.


Water Sports and Activities in Southland

Southland attracts those who love swimming, diving, shark diving, surfing, kayaking, jet boating, fishing, hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting. Wildlife-watchers should head to Porpoise Bay, where they may see endangered yellow-eyed penguins, blue penguins, seals, and sea lions from the sandy beach. This beach is also a popular place for swimming and surfing.

Fishers should head to the Matura River, which is considered one of the best spots for fly fishing in the world. Here, you may catch brown trout. Swimming and kayaking enthusiasts also enjoy visiting the river near Riversdale Bridge, and birdwatchers may spot the endangered Black-billed Gull, which lives in the surrounding breeding habitat.


Weather in Southland

Southland has a warm and temperate climate. The region is warmest from December to February, with temperatures ranging from 23-24 °C (73-75 °F). The water is warmest during these months as well, reaching 15 °C (59 °F).

With two national parks and tons of marine life, Southland is one of the best places to see wildlife in New Zealand. From the famous kiwi birds on Stewart Island to fur seals and Hooker’s sea lions on the Catlins coast, anyone who loves nature is sure to enjoy this region.

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