Southland

Southland is New Zealand’s most southerly region and includes the World Heritage ranked Fiordland National Park.

The region's only city, Invercargill offers a relaxed pace of life with wide streets, little traffic, spacious parks and gardens, striking Victorian and Edwardian architecture and impressive sporting facilities including New Zealand’s first indoor velodrome.

Statistics

Population

93,339

% born outside NZ:

10%

Average house price March 2016:

Invercargill $217,740

Median Wage

$45,760

The country’s lowest average house prices together with nationally competitive salaries offer many families a higher discretionary income than they can enjoy elsewhere in New Zealand.

An agricultural powerhouse, Southland is home to the world’s largest raw milk processing plant along with New Zealand’s only aluminium smelter. World-ranked national parks draw many tourists, low house prices attract residents and low fees draw students to the local Institute of Technology.

Early European settlement was dominated by Scots and the softly rolled ‘r’s of Southland residents - possibly New Zealand’s only regional accent - are a reminder of that heritage.

Invercargill has a population around 57,000, and is seven hour’s drive from Christchurch and 1¾ hours by air from Auckland. Bluff serves as its seaport and is home to the fleet that dredges fresh oysters from Foveaux Strait from March till about August.

Southland has two distinct landscapes - expansive plains of fertile farmland crossed by trout-rich rivers, and Fiordland’s rugged, isolated coastline, inlets, lakes and mountains.

Mainstays of the region’s economy are agriculture, led by dairy farming - Edendale is the world’s largest raw milk processing plant - and sheep. The aluminium smelter at Bluff is another major employer.

Tourism is important. Fiordland National Park attracts around a quarter of the tourist dollars spent in New Zealand annually. Forestry is also significant as well as fishing. The Southern Institute of Technology offers zero-fees tuition for many of its courses which is making education increasingly important.

Southland is cooler and wetter than other regions of New Zealand. Invercargill temperatures range between 9-19°C in summer (occasionally getting up to 25°C) and between 6-9°C in winter.

Invercargill is New Zealand's second windiest city.

Its relatively high latitude means the region enjoys nearly 16 hours of daylight at the height of summer but receives only around eight hours mid winter. The latitude also means occasional views of Aurora Australis, the ‘Southern Lights’.

Many migrants have already made Southland home. The table below shows where these migrants are moving from and demonstrates the diverse population you can expect to find in Southland.

It can be comforting to know there are others, similar to you, who have experienced the move.

table caption

Country of origin

No. of migrant

UK and Ireland

2,916

Asia 

2,163

Australia 1,173
Europe (excl. UK and Ireland) 912
Pacific Islands 705

Now that you know about what Southland has to offer, have a read about everyday life in the region, and services and support you can access.

In this section:

  • Employment

    Check out the local job market, find out who can help with your job search and where to start looking.

  • Information & advice

    Where to go for information, help and support with personal, family, migrant or legal issues.

  • Housing

    Find out what renting or buying costs, where to start looking and all about power, water and rubbish.

  • Learning English

    Find out more about your options for English language courses.

  • Recreation

    Connect with the sport, culture, entertainment and shopping options available in the region.

  • Education

    Check out the local education facilities - schools, tertiary, Adult education courses and more.

  • Healthcare

    Find the doctors, dentists, after hours and emergency health services available in the region.

  • Community services

    Get transport information, access government offices, learn about safety in NZ and find family support services here.

Events for new migrants
Events

Upcoming events in your region

Events for new migrants are regularly held throughout the country. Gain local insight into finding a job and getting setup and settled in New Zealand.

View events calendar

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Register with us and you’ll receive great info on jobs and upcoming events.

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Page last updated: 05/09/2016

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