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“Definitely the place to stay in Invercargill, highly recommend.” Ingrid, Auckland

Western Southland – the heart of the Southern Scenic Route

Rarely does natural beauty come as unspoiled as this. Western Southland – framed by the imposing peaks of Fiordland, the Takitimu mountains, and the wild, raging ocean – is the heart of the Southern Scenic Route.

Kiwis love a good summer road trip. And, while we don’t mean to boast, one of the best Kiwi summer road trips can be found right here on the back doorstep of The Lodges at Transport World in Invercargill. The Southern Scenic Route has just been named one of the top summer road trips Kiwis are keen to discover – for good reason.

Western Southland may not be as well-known as its marquee destination contemporaries. But we think there’s plenty to discover in this region. We can’t wait to share the secrets of Western Southland with you.


Orepuki Beach Café

This one might not be a secret anymore.

(Take a look at the number of cars arriving, especially at the weekends, if you don’t believe us.)

Word may have spread but success hasn’t gone to the head of the team behind the Orepuki Beach Café. This is one of Southland’s best-loved cafés, and it’s easy to see why.

Housed in a restored period home near the wild, untamed coastline nearby, the Orepuki Beach Café is a haven of old-world charm.

Expect farm to table dishes that are big on flavour and highlight ingredients this corner of the world is renowned for. Whether you opt for freshly-made cabinet food or a sit-down meal, you’ll leave satiated.

To find out more click here.


Orepuki Horse Treks

Offering personalised beach, farm and bush rides, astride a gentle mount is the ultimate way to take in the delights of Western Southland.

Orepuki Horse Treks are operated on a working sheep farm between Riverton and Tuatapere. The property stretches from the sea to the bush, and by horseback you will enjoy stunning views over Te Waewae Bay: on a clear summer day, you’ll be able to see all the way from Stewart Island Rakiura to Fiordland.

(Te Waewae Bay is home to Hector’s dolphins. You may see some during your ride.)

Treks offered are best suited for intermediate and advanced riders, although those with less experience can be catered to as well. Get in touch with the team here.



Wairaurahiri Jet

For an adrenaline buzz that still has an authentic touch, the Wairaurahiri Jet is a great bet.

You’ll travel into the heart of Fiordland National Park during this 94 kilometre journey: travel across Lake Hauroko and down to the park’s rugged southern coast via the wild Wairaurahiri River.

Trust us – the All Day Adventure is an experience you’ll remember long after your Southern Scenic Route road trip has drawn to a close. Including a thrilling trip on the river, a guided nature walk, and a delicious barbecue, the All Day Adventure is a must-do while in Western Southland.

Experiences can be completely tailored to your needs. Fancy a ride on a helicopter, an overnight adventure, or a jet boat ride at twilight? No problem.

Book your spot on the South Island’s ultimate jet boat ride today.


The Good Studio (Riverton)

The best way to remember an amazing holiday? Pick up a piece of locally-made art, and each time you’ll pass it by you’re sure to smile.

On the main street of Riverton, The Good Studio is an emporium full of art objects, handmade crafts, and gifts. It is a beautiful space, full of natural light that perfectly complements the artistry of some clever Kiwi creatives.

Browse a thoughtful and considered edit of items that run the gamut from paintings and prints to treasures made of glass, pounamu, stone, felt, metal, and wool.

While there is an extensive selection to choose from, we’re big fans of one artist in particular. Nina – the primary school-aged daughter of the owners, Melissa and Scott Thoroughgood – is the creator behind many of the vibrant abstract artworks you will see here.

Find out more about the gallery here.


Cosy Nook

A rocky cove sheltering several fishing boats and holiday homes – here in the deep south we call them cribs, not baches – Cosy Nook is a whimsical little settlement that lives up to its name.

Thirty kilometres south of Tuatapere – the Western Southland town known for its sausages and sawmilling – intrepid travellers taking in the delights of the Southern Scenic Route will enjoy taking in Cosy Nook.


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