The Explorer

Love to explore? Experience all of Southland’s spectacular sites through this trail.

Day One

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Experience the mysterious underground world with a guided cave tour past the rushing water of an underground stream before drifting through the darkness beneath the spectacular phosphorescence of the glow worms.

view website

Drive 15  minutes to Fly Fiordland

Locally owned and operated, Fly Fiordland provides unbelievable scenic flights to the Fiordland national park and Milford Sound. Marvel at the incredible scenery of the eighth wonder of the world as you fly above some of the most beautiful & undisturbed locations.

view website

Take a cruise through Milford Sound

Famously described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages, featuring breathtaking cliffs rising vertically from the dark waters, mountain peaks and waterfalls cascading downwards from as high as 1000 metres. 

view website

Drive 15 minutes to Fiordland Lakeview

Enjoy the incredible panoramic lakefront views of Lake Te Anau from this beautiful accommodation. Guests can relax in the BBQ area with mountains and the lake just metres away and experience all of the beauty this area has to offer. 

view website

DAY Two

Drive 1 hour 40 minutes to Wairaurahiri Jet

Experience the exhilarating 94km jet boat ride to the sea and back through the heart of New Zealand’s Largest National Park. Travel across the pristine Lake Hauroko and down to the rugged southern coast via the wild Wairaurahiri River.

view website

Drive 1 hour to Gemstone Beach, Orepuki

Gemstone Beach is a Southland treasure – literally. Overlooking Te Waewae Bay, Orepuki was once a gold mining settlement of 3000 people. Now the beach is more commonly known for the beautiful array of gemstones found washed up on the shore.

view website

Drive 1 hour to The Lodges at Transport World

The Lodges at Transport World offer six boutique apartment units that are unique, spacious and packed full of supreme comfort. The perfect Invercargill accommodation option for guests looking for a sanctuary to relax and recharge.

view website

Day THREE

Starting at The Lodges at Transport World drive 40 minutes to Cliffs at Fortrose

For those who appreciate stomach-flutteringly steep lookout points, the Fortrose Cliffs are a worthy photo opportunity on a drive between Invercargill and the Catlins. The lookout is two kilometres south of Fortrose township.

view website

Drive 20 minutes to Waipapa Point

Scenic sand dunes, rugged coastline, sea mammals and a historic lighthouse are to be found in this far southwest corner of The Catlins. A great spot for a walk or picnic, nature watching or to soak up some history!

view website

Drive 1 hour to Cathedral Caves

Cathedral Caves are a highlight for visitors to The Catlins. Located in cliffs at the northern end of pristine Waipati Beach, they have attracted international interest for their length – the two sea-formed passages together measure just on 200 metres – and their impressive height, up to 30 metres. But be sure to check the tides when planning to visit!

view website

Drive 15 minutes to Florence Hill Lookout

Three kilometres southwest of Papatowai, a short gravel road leads to sweeping Tautuku Bay, which can be viewed from on high at the Florence Hill Lookout. The glow isn’t your imagination, it’s the quartz content of the sand.

view website

Drive 5 minutes to The Lost Gypsy Gallery

Tucked away in the Catlins, is a green house truck that’s the studio of artist-craftsman-tinkerer extraordinaire Blair Somerville. Lost Gypsy Curios & Coffee is an automata gallery and theatre experience created from the ground up.

view website

The Explorer

Love to explore? Experience all of Southland’s spectacular sites through this trail.