Wild beauty and European heritage
If Invercargill is home to half the region’s population and has all necessary amenities (including a popular Institute of Technology and quality sporting facilities), less urban areas can get fairly remote and wild. Southland’s geography has two distinct landscapes: the south-south-west rugged coastline, inlets, lakes and mountains form dramatic Fiordland. The country’s biggest and –arguably wildest– National Park attracts thousands of visitors every year, adding up to 1/4 of the New Zealand’s tourism income. Further east/south-east, farmland and rivers lay beyond Invercargill and the Catlins’ coastline.
Three climates can be distinguished within the region: mild on the coasts, bigger extremes further inland, and wet around the Fiordland area. Invercargill can be fairly windy and usually records mild temperatures, around 10-20C in summer and around 5C in winter, with very long daylight hours in summer and rather short ones in winter.