Southland has the real hidden gems in New Zealand!
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jul 8, 2012 3:24 PM Last Post By: Groo
Jul 1, 2012 3:29 PM
Southland has the real hidden gems in New Zealand!Head to the bottom!!
Who'd have thought a city chick like me would end up in the bottom of the south island New Zealand, surrounded by the vast landscape of fields, trees, cows and.... well what felt like not much else when I first arrived! However despite the "Invercargill, arse end of the world, who wants to go there" comments I received on my way down, I was determined to get here and see what things were really about. Not one to listen to the critics that think they know what I will and won't like in this world I packed my bags in Auckland and jumped the plane down to the South Island. My first impression as I arrived in Invercargill was just how flat one place could be. After months and months of walking sideways in Auckland I was finally relieved to put on my best high heels and walk tall, around the whole town without one mishap... ah you can take the girl out of Newcastle (uk of course), but you can't take the need for high heels and lippy out of the girl.
So here I was waiting to see what the place had to offer and boy was I happy to find that civilisation had arrived here and just in the right amount. The great thing about finding a place like this is, just like Southlanders, you want to keep it to yourself. I mean you can get up in the morning and drive for 10 minutes and be at the most amazing beach, with views of mountains and islands - and all without a hint of traffic. A dream come true when you're from the UK I can tell you.
Now I know most of us would keep quiet about the gems I've found down here I really need to make sure we're on the map for NZ, because while many people might be happy to head to Auckland, Queenstown and Mt Cook and say they've seen New Zealand, I for one hate it when people come to a country (including my own, I mean who can say they know the UK when they just sat in London for 4 weeks!) and don't make an effort to see the real, honest and local side of things.
So if you are coming down here, I know it might seem scary (heading off the well known track) but check out my other messages to see what I recommend as the best parts of Southland, NZ! And add in if you have any suggestions....
Jul 1, 2012 5:13 PM
1MY TOP TEN EXPERIENCES IN SOUTHLAND, NZ: One day at a time.....
1. Burt Munro - Motorbike Speed Demon of his day, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins in "The world's fastest Indian". Here was a man that at a time when doing 15mph meant an instant speeding ticket was building machines that could do 90mph. Modifying and tweeking bikes all his life, racing down Oreti beach (one of southlands only beaches you can drive on still today!) to hit speeds of 131mph in 1957 and finally reaching the pinnacle of his career in racing when he went to the Bonneville flats, USA in 1967 to make history with an 183.5mph world record, still held today! This may all seem normal in this day and age but this man created something out of nothing in a shed in his own back yard - a real Invercargill hero!!!
Jul 1, 2012 5:28 PM
22. The Old Bottle House (even for the non alcoholics) - Found right in the centre of Waikaia (northern southland to confuse the best of us!), the bottle house is a building shaped like a bottle (vodka one if you ask me) made out of 20,000 wine bottles. Now I know you may say this sounds cheesy but trust me when I say the area makes up for this in a fantastic way. In the Summer this is one of the hottest places to head to in the Southland region - hot for the heat, the views and air of relaxation that flows through this tiny gem of a town! Check out the local campsite, where everyone and their dog will be staying for some much deserved peace and quiet and then make your way to the Waikaia Forest. This is a place where you can see the rather large and scary Piano Flat POUNCING spider, as well as the long-tailed bat and a 30 legged velvet worm, if you look closely!
Jul 1, 2012 7:13 PM
3I hope someone cuts the power supply to the Invercargill regional tourism office.
Jul 1, 2012 7:14 PM
Jul 1, 2012 7:45 PM
Jul 2, 2012 9:51 PM
Jul 3, 2012 2:51 PM
73. Old Stuff (bit like the blokes who reply on here) - Catlins - This is an area that's nearly 180 million years old! In particular Curio Bay holds the Petrified Forest - it's called a forest but after all this time it's now rock formations with fossil imprints and trees that have fallen and have the look of wood, but the texture of stone. If old stuff isn't your thing then check out Nugget Point where you'd catch a glimpse, around dust, of the Yellow eyed Penguins - I found these by accident when I was walking on a beach down this way. I couldn't believe how close you can get to them. It wasn't till my friend went to pee in the sand dunes and he came out running saying he heard weird noises that we realised that they was also seals there too - they were hiding in the dunes sleeping and I think peeing on them wasn't the best thing to do!
Jul 3, 2012 3:00 PM
84. A bird's eye view! Kiwi Spotting if it's your thing or not - The only place in New Zealand to see Kiwi's in their natural habitat (probably just eating and sleeping but what the hey) is at Stewart Island, the most southerly point in NZ. Being this far down in the NZ makes me feel as far away from my family and homeland as physically possible - being over 12,000 miles away at the opposite side of the planet is a feeling in itself - let alone somewhere so remote and isolated. If peace and quiet, nature and some impressive views is on your to do list then this is something I recommend highly. Just make sure you fly there from invers rather than the boat so that you get the views as you come in.
Jul 3, 2012 10:20 PM
Jul 3, 2012 10:21 PM
Jul 8, 2012 3:17 PM
115. The most obvious of them all - Milford and Doubtful Sound (and the cute and quiet Lake town of Te Anau). This is a place close to my heart. When I first came to NZ I went to Doubtful Sound because I wanted to see the one area that was only allowed the one or two boats through it - making it a lot quieter. The best thing about this trip is when they driver of the boat stops the engines for ten minutes and all you can hear is ... well nothing!! It's got to be the only place left on the planet with this easy an access that is so quiet you can hear a pin drop (or a tourist coughing)! I got to see seals up close but didn't have to put my cupof tea down to do it - dream come true for a city girl like me! My partner and I then decided a year later to head on the motorbike into Milford Sound - this was a trip in itself gettting to the jetty. The views heading in were amazing and it's rugged natural state made me feel like I really was at the end of the earth. The boat trip was great too - the captain of the ship was great value, cracking jokes and making everyone feel at ease with his crazy driving (if that's what you call it). We saw waterfalls and seals - I would say that if you go in wet season then you would see much more of this areas beauty because of the waterfalls etc. I recommend either trips but if you want a taste of real nz then doubtful all the way for me!
Jul 8, 2012 3:24 PM
12the captain of the ship was great value, cracking jokes and making everyone feel at ease with his crazy driving (if that's what you call it.
This Captain ?
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