Think of anything you've always wanted to do, and chances are you'll realise your dream in Otago and Southland. If it's adventure you're searching for, it's out there - hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, windsurfing, mountain climbing, hunting, bungy jumping, hang gliding, surfing, mountain biking, skiing.
You want spectacular scenery, just feast your eyes. You want wide open spaces, heritage architecture, wildlife in its natural habitat, fishing, boating, swimming, surfing, art and culture, crafts, historic places and impressive sporting facilities...you've come to the right place. Our region has it all, and then some. Plus a relaxed, informal café culture which you can indulge in as you watch the world pass by. It's not just a fantastic new lifestyle; it really is a giant life!
Otago and Southland have both attracted a drifting population from northern New Zealand, as well as globally. And with very good reason!
Set beside the sea and known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin is the South Island's second largest city with a population of 123,000 and a reputation for excellence in education, an appreciation of all things artistic, historic, cultural, architectural, sporting and natural.
Invercargill is a modern city with an exceptional community infrastructure and a lively, go-ahead attitude. Situated just over two hours south of Dunedin by road, it is also the same distance from Queenstown, New Zealand's internationally-renowned tourism adventure capital.
Both centres boast an affordable, high standard of housing. In fact some of the more elite residential areas regularly feature well-priced grand old stately homes for sale (reflective of the low local cost of living relative to the rest of New Zealand), which would be out of reach on most international real estate markets. The lack of time-wasting and frustrating commutes is a massive bonus too. In most cases it's even possible to simply "pop home" for lunch.
Involvement in family life is the norm - catch the all important school plays and sporting moments! And speaking of things scholastic, both regions offer outstanding levels of learning from pre-school and childcare to secondary and tertiary. Low student/teacher ratios ensure personalised attention maximises learning potential. Plus so many outdoor education opportunities abound, so close by. Invercargill's Southern Institute of Technology offers a highly successful Zero Fees scheme, indicative of the innovative and entrepreneurial attitude which locals are so well known for. It's an approach which pervades business too. The diversity and strength of the commercial and industrial sectors is in good health. Plus the vibrancy of the local community offers so many distractions as a cure for any home sickness.
Overall you will find that life here is lived at a more leisurely pace. It's a healthy and safe environment which prides itself on being genuinely welcoming and open-minded.