appleThe Queenstown Trail, launched in late 2012, is a 110km network of trails which link the popular tourism spots of Queenstown Bay, Frankton, Lake Hayes, Arrowtown, and Gibbston’s ‘valley of vines’. Classed as a New Zealand Great Ride, the trail follows pristine rivers, lakes and mountain ranges and provides easy access to iconic Queenstown experiences. The trail has an easy to intermediate gradient and is designed for maximum choice - it can be cycled or walked as a whole or in sections depending on time and preference.

2 hr return

The walk starts from Belfast Terrace, within walking distance from the Queenstown CBD and gives 360 degree panoramic views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu at the top.

30 min loop

This easy, flat walk starts at the lakefront and follows the peninsula around to Frankton Arm with sweeping views up the lake to Glenorchy and down to Kingston.

The Queenstown Trail, launched in late 2012, is a 110km network of trails which link the popular tourism spots of Queenstown Bay, Frankton, Lake Hayes, Arrowtown, and Gibbston’s ‘valley of vines’. Classed as a New Zealand Great Ride, the trail follows pristine rivers, lakes and mountain ranges and provides easy access to iconic Queenstown experiences. The trail has an easy to intermediate gradient and is designed for maximum choice - it can be cycled or walked as a whole or in sections depending on time and preference.

1 hr each way

A popular stroll or bike along the lake edge between Queenstown and Frankton. Access this track from Peninsula Street in Queenstown, the Frankston Reserve in Frankton or at various points along Frankton Road.

1 hr each way

This leisurely lakeside walk starts at Kawarau Falls Bridge and follows along the Frankton Arm’s sunny southern shoreline.

1.5 hr each way

A lakeside walk with superb lake and mountain views through undulating open grasslands... This track starts at Jardine Park at the end of Poplar Drive on Kelvin Heights Peninsula.

1.5 hr each way

A lakeside walk with superb lake and mountain views through undulating open grasslands... This track starts at Jardine Park at the end of Poplar Drive on Kelvin Heights PeninsulaAccessed by 12km of gravel road from SH6, the Lake Alta Track is a two hour alpine hike in summer conditions. The track climbs gradually from the base building then crosses the Rastus Burn and onto a cirque valley beneath the Single and Double Cone which Maori called Kawarau. Note: Please use the toilet facilities at the base building. Waste matter does not break down in this alpine habitat. Hiking equipment is required for this track.

4 hr return

Entry to this track is accessed by an open gate from SH6, just before the Wye Creek bridge. A steep 45 minute climb follows the pipeline to a small hydro dam and then climbs to the foot of a rock bluff through remnant beech forest to the Lower Wye Creek basin.

Here you’ll find a driver’s rest area and viewpoint of Lake Wakatipu.

At the southernmost end of Lake Wakatipu is the pretty township of Kingston. The 47km lakeside drive from Queenstown is a stunning, winding road that follows Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range towards Te Anau. There are a few driver rest areas along the way for photo opportunities. Kingston’s lakeside setting, relaxed vibe and activities like walking tracks, boating and fishing, make it a popular holiday destination for families.

2 hr return

Te Kere Haka Scenic Reserve provides access to the Shirtail Track, with easy access to Shirtail Creek. Past the creek the track becomes rugged and steep with sections of loose gravel - care is required.

30 min each way

A walking track winds around the lakeshore from the Kingston Lakefront Reserve for 30 minutes. Please do not go beyond this without the permission of the leaseholder.

Located on Te Anau’s lakefront, DOC staff can provide information on the area’s many short walks and multiday trails, as well as advice on weather and track conditions. For online information or bookings for the Routeburn, Milford and Kepler Tracks please visit: www.doc.govt.nz

5 hr return drive from Te Anau World renowned, Milford Sound is New Zealand’s only fiord accessible via road. Take time to explore the many short walks and scenic-stopping points along the Milford Road itself – a spectacular alpine journey through a World Heritage National Park. A guided journey with a local operator can offer insights which add to the experience and leave drivers free to enjoy the scenery. Pre-book in the peak season and please check road conditions before departing, especially in winter.

Ivon Wilson Park is a 35 hectare park with fantastic views of the Fiordland Mountains. The park is a great place for families to visit with many marked trails and the picturesque Lake Henry, stocked with rainbow and brown trout as a children’s fishery. There is also a mountain bike track located in the reserve.

15 min each way A lakeside path leads to the Te Anau Wildlife Centre where some of New Zealand’s rare native birdlife may be observed. Open from dawn until dusk,entry is by gold coin donation.

50 min each way Continuing along the lakeshore from the Te Anau Wildlife Centre, the Control Gates lie at the south western corner of Lake Te Anau, and regulate water flows between lakes for the West Arm hydro-electric power station. This is also the start of the Kepler Track.

3 hours return From the Visitor Centre, follow the Te Anau lakeshore towards the town centre. This lakeside track offers great views and family activity opportunities. Stop for a coffee or ice cream along the way. Continue along the footpath to the boat harbour at Bluegum Point (30 mins) or for a longer trip (3 hours return) continue around the lakefront and past the rodeo grounds to the mouth of the Upukerora River.

1 hr return A return walk on the first section of the Kepler Track. Starting from the control gates, a well-defined track follows the lakeshore through attractive stands of native forest. Dock Bay is a pleasant bay with swimming and picnic facilities.

3 hr return Further on from Dock Bay, Brod Bay is another popular spot for boaties and day walkers to enjoy the beach and picnic facilities. A water taxi is available to return to Te Anau on a prearranged basis.

3 hr 30 min return A gently undulating track through mountain beech forest. Some scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed here. The Shallow Bay Hut offers shelter and toilet facilities as does the nearby Moturau Hut.

5 min Situated on SH94, 20 minutes drive from Te Anau towards Mossburn. The viewing platform overlooks Halocarpus bidwillii (bog pine) forest, and offers stunning views of the Takitimu Mountains.

Mavora Lakes Park is an impressive landscape of mountains, lakes, forest and tussock grassland, recognised as part of the Te Wahipounamu/ South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Many activities are possible here including trout fishing, water sports, horse trekking, tramping and mountain biking. The Mavora Lakes are located on State Highway 94 between Mossburn and Te Anau.

The departure point for excursions to Doubtful Sound/ Patea and the West Arm Underground Power Station, Manapouri also offers a range of short walks accessible by water taxi. Contact the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre for further information.

8 hr return trip from Manapouri The journey to Doubtful Sound starts with a boat ride across beautiful Lake Manapouri, followed by a bus journey over Wilmot Pass, through the pristine Fiordland National Park. A trip to the underground power station at West Arm is an interesting side excursion. Local operators run guided excursions daily to Doubtful Sound.

Called Roto-ua (rainy lake) and Moturau (many islands) by early Ma¯ori, environmentalists successfully campaigned to save the area’s natural beauty in the 1970s, halting plans to raise the lake level to generate hydro-electricity. Pearl Harbour is the only place in the area with private boat launch facilities.

45 min each way A pleasant stroll along the Waiau River bank and Lake Manapouri shore from Pearl Harbour to Frasers Beach. There are exit points at several places back to the main road. The track is signposted from both the start and end points.

30 min loop This 14 hectare parkland is located approx. 1km east of Manapouri and is accessible via a sign-posted road off the Manapouri-Hillside Road. Home Creek is a naturally meandering stream and is an important native fishery and habitat for brown trout. Visitors are welcome to walk on the circular track around the Home Creek area.

World Heritage is a global concept that identifies natural and cultural sites of world significance - areas so special that protecting them is of concern for all people. Known to Ma¯ori as Te Wahipounamu (the place of greenstone), the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area incorporates: Aoraki/Mount Cook, Westland/ TaiPoutini, Fiordland and Mount Aspiring national parks - covering 2.6 million hectares of pristine wilderness. Some of the best examples of animals and plants once found on the ancient supercontinent Gondwana, live in this World Heritage Area.

Home to many waterfowl species, including scaup/papongo, grey teal/tete and paradise shelduck/ putakitaki, these wetlands provide a network of walking and cycling tracks.

Managed by Kai Tahu, the site has mahika kai (producing or procuring food) values, plants, wildlife and fisheries. It represents a resource that can be used to further people’s knowledge of mahika kai values.

Borland Road is a backcountry 4WD route to the South Arm of Lake Manapouri. Conditions on the narrow road can be treacherous, and it is often closed during winter months and occasionally in summer. Contact a DOC office for road conditions. The Borland Lodge Adventure and Education Trust provide a range of accommodation, conference and meeting facilities.

40 min return An easy short walk opposite Borland Lodge, through beech forest. This is one of the best places in Southland to see native mistletoe, which flowers in early summer.

Monowai was one of the first New Zealand lakes to be harnessed for hydro-electric power production, and is a gateway to the southern part of Fiordland National Park.

30 min return Walk through mature beech forest, to overlook the lower reaches of Lake Monowai

Hauroko means “the soughing of the wind”. At 462 metres deep, this is New Zealand’s deepest lake. Accessed from the Lillburn Valley Road, Lake Hauroko is signposted from Clifden. There are varied recreational opportunities in the area and commercial operators to help you explore. Leaving Lake Hauroko, the Wairaurahiri River is the steepest river in New Zealand to be navigated by commercial jet-boat operators. The Lake Hauroko Bush Walk is an easy 40 min return loop walk.

30 min return Signposted from the road to Lake Hauroko, a pleasant 12km drive takes you to the track entrance. Along the track you will see some of the largest totara trees in Southland, which are over 1,000 years old.

Construction of the suspension bridge started in 1898 when it replaced the punt used by early sheep stations.

These limestone caves are one of few cave systems in Southland, and are signposted along the Clifden Gorge Road. Ensure you have a good torch with spare batteries and warm clothing. Ask for advice at the nearest visitor centre. Warning – This cave system is subject to flash flooding. Do NOT enter during or immediately after heavy rain, or if rain events are forecast. To fully explore these caves, caving experience is essential.

The centre of a farming community, Tuatapere is often referred to as the ‘Sausage Capital of New Zealand.’ It has several art and craft galleries, and the Bushman’s Museum displays a detailed account of the area’s sawmilling history. A number of jet-boating, fishing and tramping opportunities are available.

3 day / 2 night hike This circuit track has all the qualities of a ‘Great Walk’. The first day leads hikers from sealevel up through native forest to the Hump Ridge, providing sweeping 360º views of the south coast far below, and the peaks of the Southern Alps marching northward. From the Hump Ridge, the track descends almost back to sea-level, and then traverses along old tram lines and across mighty wooden viaducts to the historic Port Craig. A bush and beach track following Te Waewae Bay completes the circuit on the third day. Bookings are required. Visit www.humpridgetrack.co.nz.

This is the starting point for the Tuatapere Hump Ridge and South Coast tracks. Hector’s dolphins/upokohue can sometimes be seen from the beach, as can Southern right whales/tohora.

7 hr each way The site of a 1920s timber mill and town. The only remaining historic building is the school, which is now DOC accommodation. A self-guided heritage trail takes visitors around relics of the town and mill site. The Percy Burn viaduct (approx 2 hr walk west from Port Craig) is a spectacular site.

A viewing platform provides excellent views of Te Waewae Bay and the tiny one million year-old Solander Islands to the south - formed by the eroded skeleton of a volcano.

Located ½ km north of Orepuki, Gemstone Beach is known for its constant state of change from sand to stones with the storms and tides. Semi-precious gems such as garnet, jasper, quartz and nephrite can often be found on the beach.

Known by Kai Tahu as Te Puka o Takitimu, the island is the anchor stone of the legendary Takitimu waka/canoe, captained by Tamatea and wrecked at the mouth of the Waiau River. Access to the island is tide-dependent.

Cosy Nook is a rocky cove sheltering several fishing boats and holiday homes. Early European settlers reported Pahi’s Village – a Kai Tahu settlement of forty houses was situated here.

2 hr return Starting at Round Hill Road, 15km west of Riverton, the Long Hilly Track explores regenerating native bush and relics from the little-known days of early Chinese goldmining activity in Southland – the largest Chinese settlement in New Zealand. The gravelled loop-track leads through a tramway cutting to old earth dams.

A large statue of a surfer riding a wave greets visitors to Colac Bay/ Oraka. First settled by early Ma¯ ori, the rocky coastline, great sandy beach and surf continue to attract people to this small settlement.

A popular seaside and holiday resort, Riverton/Aparima is known as the ‘Riviera of the South’. Riverton/ Aparima is rich in early Ma¯ori history and is one of the earliest European settlements in New Zealand. Visit the Te Hikoi Southern Journey Heritage Museum and take a photo with the infamous paua shell on the main road.

10 min to 3 hr Mores Reserve, at the top of Richard Street (turn left at the end of the bridge over the estuary and follow the signs), offers several short walks and great views over Southland and Foveaux Strait/Te Ara a Kiwa towards Stewart Island/Rakiura.

At the end of the ‘Rocks Highway’. This is a privatelyowned recreation reserve and is a great place for walking, picnicking, fishing and bird watching. It offers spectacular views of Taramea Bay, Invercargill, Bluff and Stewart Island/Rakiura.

20 min return A short walking track starts at the eastern entrance to Riverton/Aparima and leads down to loop through the 6 hectare flax wetland. This reserve provides a sanctuary for whitebait/inanga and other native fish.

Visit the vintage farm machinery museum located at Thornbury, or the nearby Templeton Flax Mill and Heritage Museum (open by arrangement).

Sitting amongst sculptured lawns and rose gardens is an historic Georgian-style mansion, now housing an excellent art collection. The large park also features a traditional carved Maori house, duck pond and children’s playground.

Thomsons Bush is a remnant of the mainly kahikatea swamp forest that once covered much of the Southland area. The native vegetation is dominated by kahikatea, black pine/matai and ribbonwood. It provides opportunities for walks and picnics.

The 81 hectare park is recognised as one of New Zealand’s “Gardens of National Significance” and contains a rose garden, winter gardens, children’s play area, aviary, animal enclosures, rhododendron dell, duck ponds, a golf course, café, fitness track and many other features.

This 40m high historic tower is probably the city’s best-known landmark. Completed in 1889, using 300,000 bricks, the tower was Invercargill’s main water supply. Unfortunately, due to concerns about earthquake safety, the Water Tower is no longer open to the public.

This walkway follows the Waihopai River from the Waihopai Dam at the northernmost point, to the Stead Street Bridge at the southernmost point. The entire 15km loop may take 4.5 hours, but it can be enjoyed in sections. The main access points are at Stead Street, North Road, Queens Drive and Racecourse Road.

Sandy Point/Oue is a natural playground 10km west of Invercargill – access is from Dunns Road, Otatara. A 13km network of well-formed signposted walking tracks makes it easy to explore the river banks, estuary and forest. There is a great area of well-marked mountain-biking tracks to suit all skill levels and also a good network of tracks for horse-riding.

Stewart Island/Rakiura is home to Rakiura National Park, New Zealand’s southern-most National Park. Rakiura is one of the Ma¯ ori names given to the Island, which recalls glowing sunrises, sunsets and the aurora australis or ‘Southern Lights’. View native birds at Ulva Island, enjoy short walks in the native bush around the town or, for longer walking opportunities, try the multiday hikes on the Rakiura Track, North West and Southern circuits. Visit the local Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre for more information. Flights to Stewart Island/Rakiura operate daily from Invercargill Airport, or visitors can take a ferry or helicopter from Bluff.

Bluff is the oldest European town in New Zealand, having been settled continuously since 1824. With a mountain bike track and walking tracks accessible from car parks located at the summit of Bluff Hill, Gunpit Road and Stirling Point – the beginning of SH1 – recreation opportunities are vast. Be sure to visit the Bluff Maritime Museum.

The Ma¯ori name for Bluff Hill is Motupohue (motu because of its island-like appearance from the sea, and pohue for the native convolvulus that flowers in the forest). The ‘Hill’ is home to a network of short walks ranging from one to three hours in length. Signs onsite explain options for walking. The summit of Bluff Hill/ Motupohue provides spectacular views out to Foveaux Strait/ Te Ara a Kiwa and across Southland. A visit to Bluff wouldn’t be complete without a photo at the famous signpost at Stirling Point, pointing the way to major cities around the world, and marking the southern end of SH1 which runs the length of New Zealand.

The sweeping sandy expanse of Oreti Beach was the trail used by Ma¯ori travelling between Riverton/Aparima and Sandy Point/Oue. Oreti Beach was the setting for some of Burt Munro’s exploits and features in the movie “The World’s Fastest Indian”. The beach is 30km long and the main vehicle entrance is at the end of Dunns Road, Otatara.

Signposted from SH1, immediately before the Greenpoint Cemetery. A well graded track and boardwalk follows the shoreline to Greenpoint, highlighting features of natural and historic interest that include a ship graveyard.

Registered under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international significance, the Waituna Lagoon and wetlands is signposted on SH92. It is an important habitat for birds, native fish and trout, and is home to some unusual plants, many of which can be seen during a short walk (1.5 hr return) through the area.

Shortened from the original Ma¯ori name of Waipapapa, meaning shallow waters, this is the site of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipwreck. In 1881 the SS Tararua ran aground on Waipapa Reef and 131 of 151 passengers and crew died. The lighthouse, built after the disaster, stands as a poignant reminder. Sea lions/whakahao can be found on the beach and amongst the coastal tussock.

15 min return Signposted from the Waipapa Point Lighthouse Road, the walk is across private property (closed during the lambing season September/October). The ‘Tararua Acre’ is where many of the victims of the SS Tararua shipwreck are buried.

20 min return The most southerly point on the South Island of New Zealand, Slope Point is a marked route across private farmland, giving good views of Stewart Island/ Rakiura, Bluff and the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.

Ma¯ori legend has it that large hairy giants called Maeroero inhabited these valleys of bush. Two tracks in the area explore native forest. One easy walk (30 minutes return) is wheelchair accessible, and a larger hike (2 hrs each way).

Few places offer such scenic, wildlife and recreational values in one small area. Tumu Toka, translates to ‘hardened wood’ or ‘stump of wood’ - a reference to the ancient fossil forest with imprints of fallen trees and ferns from 180 million years ago, that can be accessed at low tide. A small population of endangered yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho nest nearby. From the camping ground there is access to Porpoise Bay, a popular swimming and surfing spot. During summer, you may see the rare Hector’s dolphin/upokohue swimming in the bay.

The Waikawa Museum has numerous displays relating to the early settlers and their industries of this once bustling port town. Short walk options include the Old Coach Road (20 minutes return, and only passable at low tide), and the George Aitken Walk (20 minutes return).

Niagara Falls was named by a surveyor with an obvious sense of humour! A special site called a nohoanga is situated on part of the Waikawa River nearby, signifying its importance for gathering traditional food for Kai Tahu whanau.

40 min return The 22 metre falls on the Tautuku River are often described as the most spectacular in the region. The walk to the falls, though uphill, is not too steep and is very pleasant.

50 min return Managed by landowners of Ma¯ori descent, a small entry fee is charged for maintaining the private road entrance and facilities. Access to the caves is from October to May and only at low tide. Please contact the Clutha i-Site for tide times to ensure access.

Contact Forest and Bird for access to this reserve that gives a chance to spot some very special wildlife – forest gecko, green tree frogs, and 16 types of native fish species. From the Tautuku Forest Cabins (available to book) three easy walking tracks vary in length between 1 - 3 hours. For more information see: www.forestandbird.org.nz

30 min return This partly board walked track heads through podocarp forest to estuary flats, home to a population of fernbirds/matata who are often heard but seldom seen.

30 min return A unique forest sequence is explained through a series of interpretation panels. Suitable for wheelchairs to the top viewing point.

15 min return to the beach Walk from opposite the Outdoor Education Centre on the main Chaslands Highway, or drive to the beach picnic area via the narrow gravel Tautuku Beach Road. The beach is suitable for 4WD only.

This is a great place to stop and enjoy the spectacular views of Tautuku Bay and Tautuku Peninsula to the south; and Tahakopa Bay and Long Point to the north. It has become popular for ‘big wave’ surfing competitions.

A small township nestled in native bush, with a spectacular beach and coastline on its doorstep.

40 min to 1 hr return Popular walks in the Papatowai Scenic Reserve are suitable for all age groups. You may encounter yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho, NZ sea lions/ whakahao and oystercatchers/ torea on the beach. The Kings Rock Track and Picnic Point Track (wheelchair grade) areas start from Cross Street. Other short walks around the beach and estuary can be accessed via the picnic ground on the foreshore.

40 min to 3 hr return Starting at the carpark at the north end of the Tahakopa River bridge, the track follows the old coach route from Tahakopa Beach through the southern-most stand of silver beech/tawhai and tree ferns/katote, to a young totara stand which marks an early Ma¯ori archaeological site. The track ends when it reaches the beach. For the more adventurous, the beach can be followed to link with the route known as the Old Possumers Track. This is a three hour loop. The start/finish is the left fork of the Old Coach Road.

30 min return Walk to the waterfalls through the regenerating podocarp/broadleaf forest of Table Hill Scenic Reserve.

20 min return A true icon of the Catlins, this is one of New Zealand’s most photographed waterfalls, gracing many calendars, postcards and book covers. The track is suitable for wheelchair users to the top viewing point.

The Catlins River-Wisp Loop Track includes two 12 km routes, the Catlins River Walk and Wisp Loop Walk. The routes can be walked in either direction and can be done as a 24km two day tramp or one long day tramp. Sections of the track can be walked independently of the others, as there are many entry/ exit points along the way. The Wisp Loop returns along the forestry roads and could be mountain biked separately. The Rocky Knoll extension track is a side route that runs off the Wisp Loop Walk, and is well worth the short climb to get the views and also see some nice sub-alpine vegetation not often accessible in the Catlins.

1 hr return Named after the Ma¯ori chief Tuhawaiki (known to European settlers as Bloody Jack). The blowhole is 55m deep and 200m from the sea. It formed when the roof section of a large subterranean cavern, eroded by the sea, caved in. Please do not disturb stock.

Early European pioneers established this town and community, carving a future from the bush. Today it’s an ideal base from which to explore the wider Catlins area. The Owaka Museum captures the essence of The Catlins experience with a visual, story filled journey through the state-of-the-art complex at 10 Campbell Street.

45 min return Ecologically important because of its rare vegetation, this walk offers virgin podocarp forest, rich in birdlife, and returns via a saltmarsh and estuary where wading birds can be seen. Each year godwits return from northern Asia to the sand spit near the mouth of the estuary. The saltmarsh area is accessible only at low tide.

30 min return This track, through sand dunes, is one of the best ways to experience the world’s rarest sea lion (NZ sea lion/ whakahao). Please take care around sea lions. When you remain out of sight in the sand dunes, you will be able to observe their behaviour and how they interact.

20 min return An easy walk to a 250m long railway tunnel, excavated by hand from 1891–92, and lined with locally-made bricks. Take a torch to explore the tunnel and please stay within the reserve boundaries.

10 min return This 47 hectare reserve is a breeding place for the yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho. These penguins are best seen from the Roaring Bay hide as they return from the sea in the evening. They nest in the native shrubland covered areas of the headland. Binoculars are recommended.

20 min return A path leads to the lighthouse where, far below, NZ fur seals/kekeno, Southern elephant seals/ ihupuku, NZ sea lions/ whakahao, and yelloweyed penguins/hoiho may be seen. Binoculars are recommended.

Kaka Point has stunning scenery and a wealth of wildlife. Enjoy the native bush backdrop and ocean views.

30 min return This is an easy bush walk that seems very remote, yet it is almost within the township of Kaka Point.

40 min return By using the foot access through a neighbouring farm and following a short loop walk, an outstanding example of lowland totara forest can be explored. Awakiki Reserve is signposted south of Telford Rural Polytechnic.

2 hr return Access to this walk can be found at the back of Naish Park on Charlotte Street in Balclutha. You will follow the mighty Clutha River/Mata-Au and take in the fabulous array of flora and fauna, including an amazing display of rhododendrons. You are able to bike this track.

Open to visitors at any time, the Sod Cottage is 13 km north of Balclutha on SH1. It was built in the 1860s as a stop for miners heading to the goldfields. It has been restored by the South Otago Historical Society, and was reopened on the 30th of May 1970.

This township has a rich history in wool and timber mills, both of which are still productive industries in the town today. Another highlight is the Gothic-inspired Tokomairiro Presbyterian Church which opened in 1889.

Visit the whale fossils at the lookout near Milburn Limeworks, 9km north of Milton. The lookout provides spectacular views of Lake Waihola. It also houses a display of rare whale and dolphin fossils that were found in the nearby lime quarries, and are 24–34 million years old, as well as a pictorial history of the lime and phosphate working in the area.

The lakeside domain has many activities available including kayaking, fishing, a pontoon and water slides for children – making it a great place to relax and unwind.

These significant wetlands are a 315 hectare waterfowl reserve with numerous shallow peaty lagoons, a labyrinth of waterways, and two islands fringed with flax/harakeke, native bulrush/raupo and grasses. The wetlands, renowned for their abundance of kai (food) and Whakaraupuka (Ram Island), which is the former site of the pa (fortified village) of Tukiauau. The wetlands are located at 854 Clarendon/ Berwick Road, signposted off SH1.

45 min return This track starts 400 m south of the bridge at Taieri Mouth, crossing a fence midway up the gully as it passes from the reserve into private land. The route leads up out of the gully and onto Finlayson Road.

A great spot for swimming and surfing, with interesting rocks to explore at the southern end of the main beach. Livingstonia Park is a peaceful spot for a family picnic.

4 hr return The Taieri River Track (starting at Taieri Mouth), and the Millennium Track (starting from Taieri Ferry Road, off SH1), meet at picturesque John Bull Gully. Walking upstream from Taieri Mouth, saline and freshwater vegetation give way to open shrub land and stands of lush podocarp Balcutha Bridge, Clutha Country. forest. Good footwear is essential.

The sleepy seaside village of Brighton, on the coast 18km south of Dunedin, is a wonderful family-friendly destination where you can swim safely, sit in the creek, have a picnic or barbecue, and fossick in rock pools.

The inner city is compact, with iconic heritage buildings within a stroll of Dunedin’s central Octagon. Follow the heritage trails or sign up for a guided walk at the centrally located i-Site. Gardens, both public and private, short walks and hikes to stunning vistas are a great way to explore the city.

Dunedin’s Botanic Garden opened in 1869, making it the oldest in New Zealand. Designated a Garden of International Significance by The New Zealand Gardens Trust, it is famous for its rhododendron dell.

Stretch your calf muscles on the worlds steepest Street – Baldwin St in North Dunedin. Regularly raced; by people in the annual ‘Gut buster” race, and by sweets in the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival’s iconic ‘Jaffa Race’.

Otago Harbour, can be seen in its magnificent entirety from the lookout at Signal Hill, only minutes from the city centre.

Dunedin is a mecca for outdoor pursuits. Surfers will discover great waves, both for learners and the most experienced of thrill seekers. Hire a bike, for either mountain biking on tracks in the hills surrounding the city, or a more sedate ride along the harbour. Golfers can take their pick of the myriad of courses available; from the first golf club opened in New Zealand at the historic Balmacewen Golf Course, to the links course at Chisholm Park, or the magnificent cliff top scenery of St Clair Golf Course.

St Clair offers seaside delights just ten minutes from Dunedin’s Octagon. Stroll, surf, or enjoy the Esplanade’s bars, cafes or restaurants. During summer the therapeutic Hot Salt Water Pool is a local institution.

1 hr return A steep track and narrow, stepped tunnel lead down to this romantic and secluded beach, once the private domain of the powerful Cargill family. White sandstone cliffs and curious wind, sea and rain-sculpted stacks add to the atmosphere here. Signposted 7 km south of Dunedin. (Closed Aug/ Sep/Oct).

A breath-taking natural environment on the doorstep of Dunedin City, Otago Peninsula is home to rare and protected native bird and marine mammal species and internationally acclaimed ecotourism operations. Discover some of New Zealand’s rarest wildlife with local experts from The Royal Albatross Centre, Natures Wonders, and Penguin Place or gain a different perspective on a Monarch Wildlife Cruise. Enjoy the intriguing history and romance at Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. WILDLIFE: Please treat any wildlife you encounter with care and follow any instructions on signposts. Give sea lions a wide berth (20 m), retreat if you see penguins approaching.

1 hr return Turn off Highcliff Road onto Sandymount Road, then right onto Seal Point Road to reach the car park. A path crosses farmland to the sand dunes. Go down the sand hill – which can be rather testing on the return, uphill journey – and walk about 1 km along the beach. Near the southern end a marked track leads up to a hide to view the yellow-eyed penguins (hoiho).

1 hr return The circuit track begins at the car park at the end of Sandymount Road. This walk via The Chasm and Lovers Leap – with a side track to Sandymount summit – gives spectacular views of Otago Peninsula’s coastline and cliff tops (Closed Aug/Sep/Oct).