Oreti Beach, 9.5km (6 miles) west of Invercargill, out past the airport, is safe for swimming. This broad expanse of sand stretches from Omaui at the southern end right around to Riverton. There are surf patrols in attendance during summer.
Single and tandem bikes can be hired from Wensley's Cycles, Tay and Nith streets (tel. 03/218-6206; fax 03/218-6368).
There are numerous fishing opportunities in Southland, many within 30 minutes of Invercargill. The famous Mataura River offers some of the best trout fishing in the world. The season in most areas opens October 1 and goes to April 30. There are exceptions, so check the regulation guide available at the visitor center. The team at Outdoor World, 27 Tay St. (tel. 03/214-2052), can advise you on the best spots and the best tackle. Alan Wilson (tel./fax 03/217-3687; www.southlandflyfishing.co.nz) can help with wilderness and heli-fishing.
There are numerous fine walks within an hour's drive of Invercargill. You can read about them in the Department of Conservation's excellent brochure Day Walks from Invercargill, available at the visitor center. Sandy Point Domain, 7km (4 1/3 miles) west of the city, has attractive walking tracks through totara forest and sand dunes. The Foveaux Walkway in Bluff is a 2-hour walk around Bluff's rugged coastline. The track begins at Ocean Beach Road and ends at Stirling Point, or vice versa. The 30-minute Glory Track starts at Stirling Point and finishes at Gunpit Road. A little farther afield, the Tuatapere Humpridge Track, 31 Orawia Rd., Tuatapere (tel. 0800/486-774 in NZ, or 03/226-6739; www.humpridgetrack.co.nz), is fast gaining a reputation as an excellent 3-day walk for those of moderate to high fitness levels. Tuatapere is 86km (53 miles) from Invercargill and 100km (60 miles) from Te Anau on the Southern Scenic Route. The Freedom Walk costs NZ$130 for adults, NZ$65 for children 10 to 14. The guided walk costs NZ$1,395 for adults, NZ$1,245 for children 10 to 14. The Humpridge Track is not suitable for kids under 14.
The best area for windsurfing is at Awarua Bay. Gear rental is available at Anderson Wind and Surfing, 204 Spey St. (tel. 03/214-4283).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.