Tangaroa Walker - Farm 4 Life

When you have a passion for dairy farming and sharing knowledge like Tangaroa does, you know it's going to be good. When you add a cheeky sense of humour, a real drive to succeed and bring others along for the journey you have a bloody winning combination called Farm 4 life. Tu Meke

Laura Douglas - the Southern Girls Finishing School

Laura Douglas realised she wasn’t being true to herself while working an office job in Christchurch. She drew a picture of what she thought her ideal life could be in 5 years time, in the mountains with the dog, truck, jet boat and a good whiskey. Just 3 years later and Laura is living her ultimate dream at Real Country and fulfilling her passion for teaching real life skills to teenage girls at the Southern Girls Finishing School. So ‘strop’ yourself in (if you don’t know how then maybe time to sign up for Laura's next workshop) and enjoy the ride.

Jade Maguire - Te Whakaoraka

Jade Maguire is a man on a mission! A mission to connect people with the environment. One seedling and one lesson at a time. The purpose of creating his eco-learning space was to increase the prestige of the mana of the land and the environment, to increase the prestige of the fresh water quality and to increase the prestige and mana of people.

small prophet & Co Design House, Tokanui, Southland

What do you get when you cross three super motivated yet busy rural women and a combined love and passion for design and all things nice. What you get is Small Prophet & Co Design House set in an old farm building in the small farming town of Tokanui in Southland. Don't let the small town vibe fool you, these ladies have big goals and even bigger personalities.

Craig Smith the Wonky Donkey - Monowai, home away from home

Meet award winning author and songwriter Craig Smith. Made famous by his best selling book the Wonky Donky and more recently the Scottish Granny who's video of her reading the hilarious book went viral. Explore Craig's go to spot for inspiration and his ultimate getaway in Monowai on the doorstep of Fiordland National Park.

We are SOuthlanders

To celebrate our first 20 stories here is a little highlight into who we are as Southlanders and what an amazing caring, sharing stunning place we live in. Southland really is an amazing place to live, work and play.

Project ark - creating museums without walls

Our rich Southland heritage full of unique objects stored in old museums dotted around our region is at risk of being lost. Lost, damaged and more so the stories that accompany them lost when our elders pass on. Project Ark was created to capture and store this history and make it available with the museum without doors philosophy for all to enjoy. Meet the team of 4 museum professionals and the wonderful local volunteer support entrusted with protecting Wyndham museums rich history.

Cormac Buchanan the flying 12 year old with big dreams

Meet Cormac Buchanan the 12 year old racer with big dreams. Cormac is a super talented young rider from Southland and currently racing in the Oceania Junior Cup in Australia. The lone kiwi in a field of 26 of Australasias top young riders Cormac is showing true grit and determination to succeed at this level. With lofty goals of a top 5 finish in the championship and ambitions of one day riding Moto GP have a watch of Cormac’s story

meet Steph the proud bee momma to 1.5million bees

You cant help but smile while listening to Steph Munro talk about her bees. Steph has turned her passion for bees and honey into a start up business and loving it. She is taking the risk and transitioning into making it her full time job.

Saffron in Southland!! Ummm yep!

Kiwi Saffron's Steve and Jo Daley are all about producing world class saffron. The saffron they produces is rated with a world standard ISO of 300 when to claim an A class rating requires 190. Find out why they jumped in feet first and started growing saffron in Southland and why it grows to such a high quality.

Our living water waituna creek rehabilitation programme

The Our Living Water Waituna Creek rehabilitation project has been setup to protect internationally significant Ramsar wetland of Waituna lagoon. The programme is a partnership between DOC and Fonterra and is designed to study the direct environmental effects on the Waituna Creek from farming practises over the last 100 years. The rehabilitation project is to study the fish species and how an introduced habitat scheme is impacting on the local fish species numbers and potential introduction of species back to the creek. Follow the team from DOC and Cawthron Institute as they conduct a electro fishing sample of the new habitat areas one year on.

Switzers Museum rebuild - A Waikaia community collaboration

When good people come together to protect the rich history of the small Southland town of Waikaia, only good things can result. Have a look at what the Waikaia community have created with the new Switzers Museum rebuild and see what stories have been protected for everyone to enjoy for many years to come.

Open Orchard project - protecting our heritage apples

Our Southland heritage is so important to treasure and keep. And that is exactly what Robyn Guyton and the team behind the Open Orchard Project are doing to protect the heritage varieties of Southland apples. Protecting them from completely loosing strains and varieties and ensuring our kids and their kids get to taste what an apple used to be like. 

Straw hats and organics go hand in hand

Mike and Jen Ryder had enough of life on the hamster wheel so decided to follow their passion for organic vegetables and create their own market garden Straw Hat Gardens. Following the Bio-intensive organic principles of Jean-Martin Fortier they have created a business and beautiful lifestyle for their family in Winton, Southland, New Zealand.


Some say that having a work/life balance is a myth. Logan Dean from Tokanui says “it's living the dream”. Becoming self employed running his business Custom Aluminium has been the perfect way to achieve that balance. Hear Logan’s story and what it is that makes living in Southland the ideal lifestyle.

Anything is possible here in Southland

Michael Pelesco and his wife moved to Southland from the Philippines back in 2008 for an entry level dairy farm position. Mike has progressed through the company to now manage one of the largest farms in Fortuna Group near Edendale milking 1300 Cows. A lot of hard work and determination and Mike says "anything is possible with the opportunities available here in Southland".


When Lyle and Debbie Penisula made the move with their family to come home to Southland, they didn’t realise it would be the catalyst to help them create their ideal lifestyle.

This is your southland summer

This is what Southlander’s get up to during their summer holidays. From biking to boating, surfing to snoozing, fishing to frolicking and all adventures in between. Thank you Southland this is for you.

Farm Fresh South, raw milk right to your door, Woodlands, NZ

Once you go Raw you come back for more!! Logan and Melissa Johnson made the move to Southland from Motueka to fulfil their dream of being self employed. They chose to operate a boutique dairy farm in Woodlands selling raw milk direct to the customer. It doesn't get any fresher than this!


When seven of New Zealand's top graffiti artists converge on a small Southland seaside town, Riverton - South Sea Spray is born. Initiated by local artist Danny Owen, DEOW, the street art festival was designed to beautify the town, it did and much more. Discover how the community got involved and how the festival left a lasting impression on the artists.


Welcome to the epic Tour of Southland a must for every New Zealand cyclist. It isn’t just the stunning scenery, the challenging terrain and the unpredictable weather conditions that have made this the most prestigious cycle race in the country. The Tour of Southland is part of our local history and the community involvement of all ages have marked this annual event on our calendar as a celebration of our people and our places.

Jade, Pounamu, Greenstone no matter you call it it has a special meaning to those that create a piece of their own.

Dave Goodin has traveled the world and has worked for people like famous director Peter Jackson but he has now made Stewart Island his home. Check out Rakiura Jade and why Dave loves teaching the art of Pounamu carving to young and old alike.

Where coffee and ink combine in a MASONIC lodge in lumsden, NZ

When Steve and Kelly Taylor decided to leave the rat race for the small Southland town of Lumsden there was much apprehension. 8 years later and the two entrepreneurs are living the ultimate lifestyle while running Roar Coffee roasters and Temple Tattoo. See how theses creatives have adapted to life in Southland and the new pace of life.


When Southlanders get together to support each other they don't do things by halves. Follow the story of why these hardy riders biked 286km from Milford Sound to Invercargill in a day to raise funds for HeartKids Southland. HeartKids Southland supports those families with children affected with heart conditions.

If you would like to donate to help these families follow this link. https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/milford-to-invercargill-by-bike


Southland has been the happy ever after for Jess Terrill owner of Southland Surf School. Take a glimpse into why she moved to Riverton and why she loves the lifestyle and living in Southland.

Win a learn to surf session with Jess for you and 5 mates over at our Facebook page. Winner drawn Sunday Dec 16.


Welcome to our very first story, and what a place to start. Discover the stunning countryside and extraordinary story of the 27km of handbuilt MTB and walking trails that Tom and Katie O’Brien have created in their amazing backyard.