Southland is New Zealand's southern most region. It is located on the southwestern part of the South Island and also includes Stewart Island - known also by its Maori name of Rakiura - which is separated from the mainland by the Foveaux Strait.
The region is home to two national parks - Fiordland National Park (the largest in New Zealand) and Rakiura National Park (which is 85% of Stewart Island). Both New Zealand's highest waterfall - the Browne Falls - and deepest lake - Lake Hauroko - are found in Southland. Fiordland, the sizeable western part of Southland, has terrain dominated by mountains, fjords and glacial lakes and much of this land is empty of permanent human habitation.
Fiordland has a wet mountain climate with conditions that are cooler and wetter than other regions of New Zealand but the high rainfall contributes to some of the most lush and unspoilt native forests in the country. The local naturist club can be your base while you explore this unique region and the cities of Invercargill and Gore - the principle urban settlement areas.
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