Southland
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Southland Outdoor Activities

  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise on Premium Glass-Roof Catamaran

    1. Milford Sound Nature Cruise on Premium Glass-Roof Catamaran

    Climb aboard 'Gem of the Sound', the newest vessel to cruise in the fiord, for a Milford Sound nature cruise. Capture the best views of the incredible fiord with three-levels of indoor and outdoor seating, unique glass roofs, and large viewing decks. Your friendly crew will welcome you on board and embrace you as one of the family, whilst you marvel at one of the most stunning places on earth. Relax in the comfortable booth seating with stylish decor and ambient lighting. High-definition cameras project outdoor footage live onto TV screens throughout the vessel - so no matter where are, you won't miss a thing. Admire New Zealand fur seals basking on rocks and feel the spray of cascading waterfalls. Look out for playful dolphins and, if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the rare and elusive Fiordland Crested Penguin. Travel the length of the fiord and out into the Tasman Sea, to see why ...

    Great boat trip with friendly informative staff on board. The boat has plenty of space and viewing decks were excellent.?

  • Lake Te Anau: 3-Hour Boat Cruise with Guided Walk

    2. Lake Te Anau: 3-Hour Boat Cruise with Guided Walk

    Your tour will begin when you arrive at the historic wharf of Lake Te Anau 5, where you'll be greeted by your crew and welcomed aboard “Faith”. You'll then receive a personalized briefing about safety onboard the ship and what to expect during the cruise.  Once onboard, you’ll be free to roam around and your crew will offer you a drink and a chat during the 40-minute journey to the Hidden Lakes wharf. During this time, you’ll learn about the history of your cruise ship, the vessel’s journey from Scotland in the 1980s and its Royal Navy service during WW2. Upon arrival at the Hidden Lakes, experience a guided walking tour of Fiordland National Park of roughly 45 minutes, and learn about the surrounding flora and fauna from your guide. Once back at the wharf, enjoy a selection of canapés and desserts in the calm of the cove. Finally, sit back and enjoy the journey home or visit the engin...

    Easily one of the best things I've done. Such an amazing cruise with amazing crew and Faith has such a cool history, we fell in love with her the second we stepped on board. Would gladly do it again.

  • Milford Sound Coach, Cruise, and Walk from Te Anau

    3. Milford Sound Coach, Cruise, and Walk from Te Anau

    Enjoy a leisurely small-group day excursion to Milford Sound from Te Anau, with an extended nature cruise along the full length of the fiord. Your tour includes all the best scenic stops, including short walks. In the summer (1 November - 30 April) you can also select a 2.5 hour self-guided hike to key summit on the renowned Routeburn Track. From Te Anau, travel along the spectacular Milford Road with local, experienced nature guides who are eager to share their stories, knowledge, and passion for the area. Upon reaching Milford Sound, you will join a nature cruise traveling out to the Tasman Sea. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to view waterfalls, rainforest, mountains, and wildlife. On completion of the cruise, passengers will board a small coach and begin their journey overland. If you prefer shorter walks, stay with the nature gu...

    Great trip, little stops along the way, boat tour was great, guide was welcoming and informative, recommend this tour!

  • Stewart Island: Wild Kiwi Encounter

    4. Stewart Island: Wild Kiwi Encounter

    At dusk, depart from Stewart Island's Halfmoon Bay in a catamaran. Cruise across Paterson Inlet to Little Glory Cove, passing Ulva Island, a predator-free sanctuary, and learning about Stewart Island's rich history along the way. Once at Little Glory Cove, disembark onto a wharf at the southern part of the peninsula known as The Neck. The walk, led by your nature guide, is on a well-formed track across the peninsula, through spectacular coastal forest to a secluded sandy beach. As dusk sets in and daylight diminishes, venture by torchlight through the native forest with the stars and forest night sounds around you. The walk will take about 45 minutes one-way and the track emerges on to Ocean Beach. Keep your eyes peeled for Southern Brown Kiwi (Rakiura Tokoeka) searching for food among the seagrass on the beach. Afterward, retrace your steps through the forest to Little Glory Wharf for...

    Well worth the cost to have experienced and knowledgeable guides. Without Grace and Henry we would have missed out on so much. We would have walked right passed a feeding kiwi without even knowing it was there. Big thank you.

  • Cruise & Kayak Milford Sound

    5. Cruise & Kayak Milford Sound

    Your tour starts off with a cruise along the entire length of the sound and out to the Tasman Sea on a Nature cruise. Each cruise has a different focus and explores a different part of the sound, so pick the one that's best for you! Towards the end of your cruise you will be dropped off at the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory to journey through the history, geology and wildlife of Milford Sound and visit New Zealand's only floating underwater observatory to view rare black coral. Then, your specialist kayak and nature guide will take you over to the kayaking pontoon to enjoy up to 90 minutes of relaxing kayaking in serene Harrison Cove. Gaze through the glacier-fed waters as you kayak in one of the most majestic places in the world. This is an intimate experience with a maximum of 8 kayaks per tour including a specialist kayak and nature guide to point out the fjord features and w...

    Milford Sound is so beautiful. One of the best trips ever. By doing the cruise, under water observatory and the kayak we got to spend quite a bit of time and really got the full experience. Very friendly helpful informative guide. Anyone can do the kayak with the great launching platform that lifts and lowers you into and out of the water. Bonus great picnic lunch bag provided to each of us. The water is so crystal clear and you get to paddle right up to the sides of the fiords. Totally recommend whole experience is breathtaking from start to finish. Bonus of seeing dolphins and fur seals also.

  • Milford Sound Fiord Cruise & Helicopter Glacier Landing

    6. Milford Sound Fiord Cruise & Helicopter Glacier Landing

    Discover Milford Sound's stunning fjord from high in the air and on the water. Land in Milford and join an unforgettable fjord cruise past sheer cliffs and gushing waterfalls.Try to spot dolphins, seals, and adorable penguins. Then enjoy an exhilarating flight past spectacular rivers, valleys, and mountains with blue-green ice falls, and experience a glacier or mountain landing in the heart of Fiordland National Park. Today, many of the local landscapes can be recognized because of their use as film locations. You can even fly over where movies were filmed! The pilots regularly work with film production crews and are happy to share plenty of stories of life on the film set. Finally, for the photo opportunity of a lifetime, alight on a glacier and enjoy panoramic views. These highly experienced, well-known local pilots can’t wait to share with you their extensive knowledge and history o...

    It was amazing and so worth the money. It was a beautiful and sunny day in New Zealand and the views were spectacular.

  • Stewart Island: 2.5-Hour Cruise and Ulva Island Guided Walk

    7. Stewart Island: 2.5-Hour Cruise and Ulva Island Guided Walk

    Discover Stewart Island from the water with a 2.5-hour experience including a cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet and a 45-minute guided walk in Ulva Island Wildlife Sanctuary. Admire Paterson Inlet’s stunning scenery from hidden coves to unspoilt beaches. Hear fascinating stories of early Maori history and European settlement from your guide as you pass various landmarks. Your passionate guide will provide engaging commentary and is more than happy to answer questions. While on board, keep a lookout for fur seals, penguins and other wildlife, as sightings are common. Paterson Inlet is home to renowned wildlife sanctuary Ulva Island. Disembark here for a 45-minute guided walk with a specialist nature guide. The island is home to weka (native woodhen), bush robins, rare saddlebacks and yellowheads amongst other species. It is also a protected habitat for some of New Zealand’s rarest plan...

    It’s the middle of winter The forecast is for hail, thunderstorms, strong westerlies and rain and we decide to go to Stewart Island and Ulva Island. Mad? Not at all. It was a wonderful trip. The ferry crossing was fairly calm, the trip around Paterson Inlet was interesting and very lovely and Ulva was a revelation: so beautiful, so interesting and full of life. Our guide was knowledgable and made the tour fun and fascinating. Recommended.

  • Lake Te Anau: 3-Hour Scenic Cruise and Walk with Morning Tea

    8. Lake Te Anau: 3-Hour Scenic Cruise and Walk with Morning Tea

    Begin your tour at the historic wharf of Lake Te Anau, where you'll be greeted by your crew and welcomed aboard. After a safety briefing and check-in, you'll be free to explore the ship. Enjoy some light refreshments on the scenic 40-minute journey to the Hidden Lakes wharf.   Upon arrival, leave the ship for a guided 45-minute walk through the Fiordland National Park. Learn about the surrounding flora and fauna from your guide. Once back at the ship, enjoy a delicious morning tea with a selection of canapes and desserts in the peaceful cove. Then sit back, relax and enjoy the journey back to Lake Te Anau.

    It was a very relaxing and organised trip delivering everything promised. The walk into the native forest was gorgeous and informative and arrived back to a very special morning tea. Nothing was a problem and both the skippers/guides had a lot of information which you could accept or not and a healthy sense of humour. The Faith is a gorgeous ship and sitting out the back was a fantastic experience. Thanks for the memories.

  • Kayak Milford Sound

    9. Kayak Milford Sound

    Don't just look at Milford Sound. Get ready to immerse yourself at sea level on a kayak journey you will be hard pressed to forget. Guides will lead you out to explore this epic vista during a 4-5 hour paddle experience. Kayak along the walls of mighty mountains, feel the fresh waterfall spray on your face as you navigate the wild fiords. Bring your own lunch to enjoy on a secluded beach and if the afternoon breeze picks up your group will raft up the kayaks and sail back to base together. If you're lucky the local wildlife will make an appearance. Grab a coffee, it’s an early start. Drive the Milford Road and arrive at Deepwater Basin. Meet the team, they will get you checked in and ready for your day. Get kitted out in all your gear, thermals, spray jacket, life vest and spray skirt provided. Once you’re changed grab a paddle and get inducted. Your guide will run through a full safety...

  • From Te Anau: Full Day Guided Walk Along the Routeburn Track

    10. From Te Anau: Full Day Guided Walk Along the Routeburn Track

    Enjoy a guided day excursion from Te Anau to Key Summit on the renowned Routeburn Track. Begin the journey with a spectacular scenic drive along the Milford Road to the Divide Shelter which is the starting point for the guided walk to Key Summit. There will be opportunities for photo stops along the way. Departing from the Divide, the walk ascends through lush, temperate rainforest on a well maintained track. The steady climb takes approximately 2 hours at a leisurely pace. Your guide will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about the natural and human heritage of Fiordland. Gaining an elevation of 400 metres, emerge from the forest into the alpine environment, with extensive panoramic views of high snowy peaks, alpine lakes, and deep bush clad valleys. Enjoy lunch along the way, perhaps on the Summit amidst the alpine tarns, or below in the Greenstone Valley beside lovely Lake ...

Other Sightseeing Options in Southland

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What people are saying about Southland

It’s the middle of winter The forecast is for hail, thunderstorms, strong westerlies and rain and we decide to go to Stewart Island and Ulva Island. Mad? Not at all. It was a wonderful trip. The ferry crossing was fairly calm, the trip around Paterson Inlet was interesting and very lovely and Ulva was a revelation: so beautiful, so interesting and full of life. Our guide was knowledgable and made the tour fun and fascinating. Recommended.

Easily one of the best things I've done. Such an amazing cruise with amazing crew and Faith has such a cool history, we fell in love with her the second we stepped on board. Would gladly do it again.

The boat was great with plenty of viewing locations and the Skipper was very informative and provided memorable experiences by the places he took us.

Great boat trip with friendly informative staff on board. The boat has plenty of space and viewing decks were excellent.?

Amazing knowledge and service. Highly recommend for a more personal cruise