Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in Invercargill

Bill Richardson Transport World

A kingdom of shiny chrome lies beyond the doors of Transport World, touted as the largest private automotive museum on the planet. Across 15,000 sq metres of warehouse space you'll find classic cars, hulking tractor…
Top Choice Cafe in Invercargill

Batch

Large shared tables, a relaxed beachy ambience, and top-notch coffee and smoothies give this cafe its reputation as Southland's best. Delicious counter food includes bagels, generously crammed rolls, cheese scones a…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Invercargill

Louie’s

Part tapas and cocktail bar, part chic fusion eatery, Louie's is a great place to while away an evening, snuggled into a sofa or a fireside nook. The seasonally changing menu veers from creative tapas (venison tacos…
Top Choice Museum in Riverton

Te Hikoi Southern Journey

Oh, that all small-town museums could be this good! This riveting museum starts with a 16-minute film dramatising key events in the region's history, including the arrival of the first European seal hunters (fiercel…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Riverton

Beach House

Looking over Taramea Bay, Beach House is a stylish, comfortable cafe famous for seafood, especially its creamy chowder studded with juicy mussels and hunks of salmon. On a sunny day with a warm breeze wafting off Fo…
Top Choice Cafe in Te Waewae & Colac Bays

Orepuki Beach Cafe

What's this? A beacon of gastronomic hope, beaming out good vibes and delicious aromas along a desolate stretch of highway? This chipper cafe has soups, samosas, risottos and a rack of homemade cakes. Bigger feeds, …
Museum in Invercargill

Southland Museum & Art Gallery

Adjoining the local visitor centre in a big white pyramid (flashes of the Louvre?), Invercargill's cultural hub has permanent displays on Southland's natural and human history, recounting plenty of maritime exploits…
Gastropub in Invercargill

Buster Crabb

A heritage building and quirky backstory lift Buster Crabb above the ordinary. Named after a British navy frogman who was supposedly spirited away to join MI6, this sleek gastropub does a good line of lunchtime sala…
Museum in Bluff

Bluff Maritime Museum

Salty tales whisper from the portholes, driftwood and barnacle-clung planks displayed at Bluff's small museum. The best part is clambering aboard the Monica and posing at the control of this 1909 oystering ship, tho…
Gallery in Gore

Eastern Southland Gallery

Nicknamed the ‘Goreggenheim’, this gallery has an impressive treasury of contemporary New Zealand art, including a large Ralph Hotere collection, as well as fascinating indigenous folk art from West Africa and Austr…