Motor Museums, sightseeing, boat trips, jet boat trips, bluff oysters, open gardens
Trout fishing, cycling and hiking are only a few of many interesting activities that can be enjoyed in Southland.
Lumsden has its own long 9 - hole golf course which is well maintained by the local members. During summer a competition is run on Wednesday evenings and on Saturday mornings. Visitors are made to feel very welcome. The club is about 5km out of town on Highway 6 to Invercargill. Drop in to the club to contact members to organize a round. The towns of Dipton (9-hole), Riversdale (9-hole), Winton (18-hole), Gore (18-hole), Te Anau (18-hole) and Waikaia (9-hole) are nearby. For the lower handicappers Invercargill (1 hours drive south) has an excellent course open to the public- Invercargill Golf Club at Otatara. For the ultimate golf experience try Jacks Point (18-hole), Kelvin Heights (18-hole), Arrowtown (18-hole) or Millbrook Resort (27- hole) - all created to International Standards and only 1 hours drive north in the Queenstown region.
The Lumsden Township preserves interesting relics from the glorious days of the steam locomotive. Today Lumsden is centrally located for fishing, cycling and sightseeing however in past times Lumsden was a pivotal point on the original rail network. Southland formed a very important part in the development of rail networks in New Zealand. Lumsden used to be a major railway junction with lines departing to all four points of the compass. A few interesting items remain from the town's former prominent status in New Zealand's national rail network including -
A beautiful wooden decked road-rail Trestle Bridge suitable for trains and horse drawn carriages.
All these artifacts are a short walk from Rod and Wheel House. Other train related items in the surrounding area include
Although the railway lines are now closed their past existence has left long, evenly graded easements which are now being revitalised as cycle and walking tracks. In particular the Around the Mountains Cycle track uses the easements between Lumsden and Mossburn and from Lumsden to Kingston.
A number of motor museums are located in Invercargill which clustered together give a fabulous day outing.The ehayes Motorworks www.ehayes.co.nz has the Burt Mumro motor bike collection displayed with his workshop and other items from the "Worlds Fastest Indian " movie. The bike that attained the World Record in its class in 1967 is on show with other famous motorised pieces.
Bill Richardson Transport World is a vast automotive museum showcasing vintage motors, farm machinery & old fashioned petrol pumps with kids play areas. The separate Classic Motorcycle Mecca has the largest display of classic motorcycles in New Zealand from 1902-2007 including solo, sidecar and three wheeled automobiles. www.transportworld.co.nz
Dig This at Invercargill operates a fun filled action playground where you can operate your own digger or other piece of heavy machinery. Fully instructed, you can operate a
Rod and Wheel House is ideally located for day trips to Queenstown, Arrowtown, Te Anau, Doubtful Sound, Invercargill and Bluff. Lumsden sits at the crossroads to many of Southland's most scenic destinations. It is within 1 hour's drive of many of Southland's main towns and attractions.
A wilderness jet trip on the Dart River is an exhilarating and spectacular journey deep into the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park. The trip starts from Queenstown with a bus journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy. The adventure includes a short walk in an ancient beech forest and views of scenic backgrounds for many Middle Earth movie scenes.The jet boat trip follows the beautiful Dart River through snow capped mountains. Informative guides talk about the area’s history, the Greenstone trail and Maori legends. Refer www.dartriver.co.nz
Jet boat on Lake Manapouri and the big blue Waiau River. Fiordland Jet operates journeys into the Fiordland wilderness, jet boat and bike riding combinations, jet boat trips across the lake with a stroll on the Kepler Track and jet boat and helicopter trips into the Twin Lakes. Refer www.fjet.nz
Jetboat on the wild Wairaurahiri River in South Fiordland across 74kms through unmodified beech and podocarp forests - sometimes hanging with flowering orchids. Wairaurahiri Jet takes you deep into the Fiordland National Park from Lake Hauroko. You will cross New Zealand's deepest lake before going down the wild grade 3 rock strewn rapids of the Wairaurahiri River following it all the way out to the Tasman Sea. See www.wjet.co.nz and www.river-jet.co.nz
Enjoy fishing on the Waiau River with FishJet and the Fiordlands Outdoor Company. This jet boat will get you to exciting drop-offs and river beaches as well as enticing ripple runs around remote islands. All fishing equipment is supplied and full day trips include a gourmet BBQ lunch.
Experience fishing for Blue Cod from a boat in the sea surrounding beautiful Stewart Island. Mana Charters leaves from Bluff and operates year round, weather permitting. www.manacharters.com
Enjoy a full day nature cruise on Doubtful Sound in Fiordland. Your adventure begins with a 30km cruise across the crystal clear waters of beautiful Lake Manapouri. It is the second deepest lake in NZ featuring islands, sandy beaches and coves surrounded by forested mountains. The second part of the trip includes a coach trip to the Manapouri Hydro-electric Power Station followed by a spectacular 22km journey over the Wilmot Pass road to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound. The third part of the day trip involves a three hour cruise exploring the inspiring beauty of Doubtful Sound. Here you will see rugged mountains clad in dense sub tropical rainforest and waterfalls cascading down steep mountain sides. Wildlife such as penguins, dolphins, seals & sea birds are often sighted during the cruise through this remote part of Fiordland World Heritage Area. The trip departs from Pearl Harbor, Manapouri at 7.30am returning at 4.30pm.
Cruise across the deep dark waters of Lake Te Anau and visit the magical Glow Worm Caves. A scenic cruise across the lake drops you off at The Grotto where a short walk and punt ride along a fresh water spring takes you deep into the (young) 15,000 year old cave. The cave is lit by thousands of tiny bioluminescent insects who combine together to create a galaxy of twinkling stars. www.realjourneys.co.nz
Savour the delicious Bluff Oysters, a regional delicacy from Southland. They can be purchased from the local Lumsden Supermarket when in season from the end of February until August. Frozen Bluff Oysters can be purchased at other times while stocks last. Enjoy the Annual Bluff Oyster and Food Festival held over a weekend in May each year. The Bluff Oyster is an unusual mollusc as individual shells sit in mud beds along the sea floor and must be harvested by dredging. This activity is strictly controlled to preserve the seafloor and maintain healthy numbers of oysters. The taste of the oyster is unique and only limited numbers of oysters are sold each year. Often dipped in batter and fried by local fish shops this seems to be the way many local residents like them. Served raw with a sharp vinaigrette is another tasty option to enjoy this regional speciality.
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