Welcome to Central Southland

There's Gore, with a proud history of moonshine distilling; oyster-mad Bluff; and Tuatapere, as famous for challenging tramping trails as it is for sausages. Invercargill, the closest thing to a city slicker in Central Southland, has a long-standing revhead culture and a slew of impressive museums dedicated to classic cars, fast bikes and big diggers. Confused? This is a region where departing from the beaten track is inevitable and going local reaps big rewards.

Top experiences in Central Southland

Travel guides

Starting at $27.99

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Central Southland activities

$102.03 Transfers & Ground Transport

Return Ferry to Stewart Island from Bluff

Book this journey for a comfortable ride across Foveaux Strait between Bluff and Stewart Island. Travel from Bluff to Stewart Island and back to Bluff on this one hour long ferry transfer. During the trip keep an eye out for wildlife – particularly seabirds such as Mollymawk (Albatross) and Titi which often follow the vessel.  Our friendly staff provide informative commentary and point out highlights. Foveaux Strait is an interesting stretch of water, home to several islands including Dog Island (spot the lighthouse!), Ruapuke Island and the Titi Islands. This is also a popular fishing destination.Enjoy the complimentary tea and coffee served to you as you relax and enjoy the views.Ferry crossings operate all year round.  Distance covered is 40km (approx. 25 miles).  Interpretation handouts and complimentary tea and coffee are available.   All vessels are wheelchair accessible.Both sectors of the return ferry (including date and time) need to be made at the time of booking.  The return date can be changed up to 24 hours prior to original departure and is subject to availability.  

$155.11 Day Trips & Excursions

Invercargill to Dunedin with Stewart Island Option

Meet one of our experienced driver guides at your selected pick up location on Invercargill for an 8.30am Departure or Bluff for a 9.15am Departure. If you have opted to include Stewart Island: We will drop you off at the Bluff ferry terminal so that you can catch the 9.45am ferry from Bluff to Stewart Island (included). You will then spend at least 1 night on Stewart Island (more during winter. Accommodation not included) and get on the 8am ferry back to Bluff the next day (included) where we will pick you up to carry on through The Catlins. Spend the day exploring Waipapa Point, where you may be able to spot some New Zealand Sea Lions, Porpoise Bay, where Dolphins sometimes hang out, The petrified forest at Curio Bay, One (sometimes more) of the many waterfalls through out The Catlins and of course the short walk to the iconic Nugget Point Light House before stopping at Roaring bay to see if we can spot some Yellow Eyed Penguins (Hoiho). We also make short stops at various view points through out the day for photo opportunities. Your day will finish in Dunedin between 6pm and 7pm depending on the time of year.

$58.60 Transfers & Ground Transport

One-Way Ferry from Bluff to Stewart Island

Zip across Foveaux Strait between Bluff and Stewart Island on our comfortable catamarans. Visit Stewart Island, just one hour’s ferry ride from Bluff and New Zealand’s ultimate eco-tourism destination. During the trip keep an eye out for wildlife – particularly seabirds such as Mollymawk (Albatross) and Titi which often follow the vessel. Our friendly staff provide informative commentary and point out highlights.Ferry crossings operate all year round. Distance covered is 40km (approx. 25 miles). Interpretation handouts and complimentary tea and coffee are available. All vessels are wheelchair accessible.Passengers are required to check-in to the Bluff or Stewart Island Visitor Terminals 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Check-in and boarding gates are closed 15 minutes before scheduled ferry departure times.

$20.68 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

Bill Richardson Transport World Admission

Visit: Bill Richardson Transport World, Invercargill, Southland Region, South IslandIf you're looking for things to do in Invercargill then you can't miss Bill Richardson Transport World. With literally hundreds of motor vehicles and petrol pumps on display throughout 15,000sqm there is a lot to take in. An impressive body of work you will come to see a lifetime of passion on display. Be amazed by a restoration journey that has taken fifty years to establish. It is an absolute must see for anyone with a passion for wheels. Highlights include retro Kombi’s, Henry Ford Letter Cars, Model T’s, Diamond T Trucks, stunning 1930’s V8’s and over 200 vintage petrol pumps. Don't worry though if you're not a motoring enthusiast! Bill Richardson Transport World has been designed to impress even the least mechanically minded. Guests will find a growing wearable arts collection, movie theatre, children’s play zones and themed bathrooms fast becoming as famous as our vehicles. With so much to see, let us entertain you for a few hours or the whole day. Stop by and see for yourself why we are one of Invercargill's most highly rated tourist attractions.

$17.49 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

General Admission to Classic Motorycle Mecca

Visit: Classic Motorcycle MeccaClassic Motorcycle Mecca is located in the centre of town in a beautifully restored 1930's style building. It takes approximately 1-2 hours to view (enthusiasts will need an entire day!). During the Winter months we recommend that you bring your jacket as it can get quite chilly within the collection. Your ticket is a day long pass. You are more than welcome to come and go as you please throughout the day, please ask for a wristband from the gift shop. 'Meccaspresso' is our delicious onsite café. Guests can expect nothing less than a superb, fresh and ever changing menu. Bookings can be made via +64 (0)3 214 3022.

$173.54 Outdoor Activities

Big Dig Excavator, Dig This Invercargill

Dig This in Invercargill is home to Southland's most exciting visitor attractions alongside with Bill Richardson Transport World and Classic Motorcycle Mecca. Ground-breaking in more ways than one, Dig This is an experience quite unlike any other. This is your chance to operate a Big Excavator in a giant gravel pit. The Big Dig experience is part of New Zealand's first heavy equipment playground established in 2017. Located at 84 Otepuni Avenue, The friendly staff at Dig This will greet you on arrival from there each participant will undertake a Health & Safety briefing in the Dig This classroom before entering the giant gravel pit. Bookings are essential, departure times for the Big Dig Experience is 9.00am, 11.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm.

Central Southland in detail