Live in Southland


Around the Mountain Cycle Trail
Venture Southland

In Southland, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the lifestyle on offer. 

In Southland, workdays have a before and after so you'll often find Southlanders surfing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, and exploring the great outdoors.

With Southland as a base, you can easily travel to some of the most sought-after destinations in the world. Queenstown - the adventure capital of New Zealand, is a mere two-hour drive from Invercargill, as is Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park, cascading waterfalls and the incredible Milford Sound.

The unspoilt beauty of The Catlins can be found 45 minutes’ drive from Invercargill, and New Zealand’s southernmost town, Bluff – world famous for its oysters, is only twenty minutes from Invercargill.

Rakiura Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third and southern-most island. With less than 400 permanent residents, the majority of the island is designated National Park and is only a 15-minute flight or one hour ferry ride from Invercargill.

Southland's close proximity to beautiful scenery, native wildlife and the great outdoors means paradise truly is at your doorstep, and you've got more time to enjoy the activities and experiences on offer!  


Sport is a major part of the Southland community and brings together people from all walks of life. Boasting world-class sporting facilities including ILT Stadium Southland and the SIT Zerofees Velodrome, people of all ages are encouraged to participate in a wide range of sporting and recreational activities. 

Arts & culture

Southland regularly features dynamic, high-quality artistic and cultural experiences that greatly add to the quality of life of the region.
Galleries such as The Eastern Southland Gallery and the Invercargill Public Art Gallery house art collections of national and international significance while smaller galleries dotted around the region regularly feature both local and national artists' exhibitions.

Annual events like the Southland Buskers' Festival,  Southland Arts Festival, Hokonui Fashion Design Awards, New Zealand Gold Guitars Awards, The Hokonui Moonshiners' Festival, Burt Munro Challenge and the ILT Kidzone Festival are popular events to look forward to each year. 


Invercargill City Library and Archives is the largest library in Southland and offers free WIFI, adult computer classes and book clubs, after-school clubs, school holiday programmes, and sessions for pre-schoolers.

The Library hosts a weekly group called The Chatter for locals and newcomers to the region to get together and chat about anything. You can find out more about The Chatter or the other services offered here 

There are also a number smaller libraries throughout Southland including: 

  • Lumsden
  • Winton
  • Otautau
  • Riverton
  • Te Anau
  • Wyndham
  • Stewart Island
  • Bluff
  • Gore
  • Mataura

These libraries offer a range of services such as free WIFI, computer classes, book clubs, photocopying and printing, and children’s programmes. 


Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, contribute to your community, and learn new skills. If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Invercargill CAB who can connect you with organisations who are currently looking for volunteers.

Multicultural organisations

  • The Southland Multicultural Council is a group that aims to make Southland a safe and welcoming place for newcomers, where everyone can learn to appreciate, enjoy, and celebrate cultural differences and diversity. 
  • The Gore/Eastern Southland Newcomers Network helps migrants and newcomers to the Gore and Eastern Southland settle into their new community. They run a weekly coffee group and hold other events and activities including the annual Hokonui Culture Feast. 
  • The Southland Filipino Society seeks to unite all Filipino's in Southland and help Filipinos adapt to living in the region. 

Getting help & support

When you move to a new place you will often have a lot of questions, or you may find yourself in a situation where you need some advice. There are a number of places you can go to get help and support.

Citizens Advice Bureau is a free and confidential information service which aims to ensure individuals know their rights and are aware of services and organisations within the community that can help them. They can help with legal issues, housing queries, employment support, consumer disputes, migrant information, financial advice, advocacy services, justice of the peace services and out you in touch with local clubs and organisations.

Find out more about the Invercargill Citizens Advice Bureau office here

Great quality of life in Southland, better than the national average

Research shows that over 90% of Southlanders believe they have a 'good' or 'extremely good' quality of life. The key factors identified were:

  • Southland residents are proud of, and connected to their communities

  • Southlanders generally feel safe, and are trusting

  • Southlanders have a favourable work/life balance

  • Southlanders are satisfied with the condition of their environment.

Room to move

Southland has a small population for the large area and offers a relaxed pace of life. Traffic jams are a foreign concept in Southland, where it is easy to travel to any part of the region in no time at all. You can travel from one side of Invercargill to the other by car in about 10 minutes. 

Southland is a place where people are rarely seen to be rushing. With little traffic on wide roads, no crowds in the spacious parks and on the beaches, there is more time left to spend with your family, enjoy the great outdoors and breathe in the fresh, clean air.

It's all here right on our back door step

Southland is the southernmost region of New Zealand's South Island. You can feel worlds away from the stresses of city life, while at the same time, you have access to all the modern facilities. Invercargill Airport is a short 5 minute drive from the city centre, and Oreti Beach only 10 minutes away.

The unspoilt beauty of The Catlins can be found 45 minutes drive from Invercargill, where you can explore waterfalls, wildlife, wind-swept trees and rugged terrain. Travel 20 minutes south to Bluff, New Zealand's southernmost town, to taste world famous Bluff oysters, or drive 30 minutes west to the coastal town of Riverton.

A selection of sporting facilities, creative and heritage opportunities and events can be found in both Invercargill and Gore, along with great shops, restaurants and cafes. If you want the mall-shopping experience, Dunedin is a 2 and a half hour drive away or for a longer, more scenic journey, travel the Southern Scenic Route.

Queenstown is a mere 2 hour drive from Invercargill. The adventure capital of New Zealand boasts quality ski fields, sky diving, bungy jumping and an energetic night life, or you can travel the same distance to Te Anau. From there, you can go on to explore the cascading waterfalls and incredible scenery in Milford Sound.

Southland's close proximity to beautiful scenery and native wildlife, city life and the great outdoors makes it easy to live the dream lifestyle.