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Kiwi towns

What’s so great about Lumsden best things to do

  • 2 minutes

Southland, New Zealand

Where to go and what to see

Lumsden there are plenty of things to do. Lumsden is a scenic Victorian town on the Southern Scenic Route and the major cycling trail, “Around the Mountains.” For railway enthusiasts Lumsden is a must visit destination with a railway precinct and its growing collection of heritage rail locomotives and carriages. As a homage to transport the quirky Route 6 Cafe and Bar is rapidly becoming an icon for Highway 6.

The perfect location for easy access to Queenstown, Invercargill, Te Anau and Milford Sound gives Lumsden the thumbs up for convenience.


  • Oreti River is a popular fishing, swimming and rowing water sport river. The river is home to one of the world’s rarest river gulls. Oreti River supports breeding colonies of endangered Black-Billed Gulls.The nearby Oreti and Aparima Rivers are the last stronghold of the worlds only endangered seagull – the Black Billed Gull. Source Land, Air, Water Aotearoa
Railway station, Lumsden @lumsdenheritagetrust
Railway station, Lumsden @lumsdenheritagetrust
  • Railway was an important aspect of Lumsden’s past, and the old railway station is now preserved as a tourist information centre with two Drewry diesel shunters and three wagons on display outside. The Lumsden Heritage Trust also has the chassis of New Zealand Railways steam locomotive P60 on display at the town’s southern entrance. One of the 1885 V class locomotives has been set up in front of the Lumsden Railway Precinct. Source: Lumsden hoists 1885 V-class locomotive from tonnes of river muck. Lumsden’s railway precinct has a very interesting road/rail trestle bridge, steam train water tower and lifting crane.
  • Lumsden has a long 9 – hole golf course with a competition in summer on Wednesday and Saturday. Visitors are welcome. The club is about 5km out of town on Highway 6 to Invercargill.

Lumsden Heritage Trust chair John Titter said they were lucky they could even attempt a recovery. In the wake of the First World War, the value of scrap metal was low so instead of being sold locomotives were dumped in rivers around the country to act as flood barriers.


Castlemaine Garden

Castlemaine garden is set in a rural farmland area, just 15mins drive from the town of Lumsden.

The garden has a country feel theme with some formal English areas. Planting consists of many species of trees, rhododendrons, roses, perennials, bulbs, buxus & various other hedging.

Open by appt only. November to mid December.

Entrance fee, toilets no, picnics no.

Brookhaven Garden

The garden has been in development for the past 22 years, but originated in the early 1900’s with the building of the homestead.

This history is shown through the large Spreading Elm, which dominates the garden. The colour is dramatised by the foliage, mass plantings of Silver Pears, Maples, Malus’s and an avenue of Flowering Cherries. Plants are chosen so they can flourish in the drought prone, stony soils. The garden appears to have different rooms merging into one, framed formally by Buxus hedges. There is an enormous chess set next to an ornate fountain.

Entrance fee, toilets, picnics allowed, Contact


  • Framed against an aging, rusty locomotive, very atmospheric


  • Takes its name from the Five Rivers Station established (1857) by Arthur Hogue, and named because of the five streams which rise in the Eyre Mountains and descend in a general south-easterly direction to join the Oreti River. The five rivers are: Oswald, Acton, Dilston, Cromel and Irthing. Farming locality 14km north of Lumsden.
Lumsden, New Zealand


  • Oreti River was the name of the district and then The Elbow as the river bed takes a sharp bend and reverses direction from east to south. The Honourable George Lumsden, Scottish trader and colonial politician in 1876 had his name bestowed on the growing settlement.

Lumsden is inland and one of New Zealand’s furthest points from the ocean.


  • Agriculture and farm service centre for Waimea Plains. Railway reached Lumsden in 1878 (from Invercargill) and Gore 1880. The town is known as a rail junction. Although rail services ceased in 1971 the town continues to be a major transport hub.


  • 405 (2013)


  • A definite stop for dedicated vintage train fans

Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about the region check Invercargill & Southland Region nearby attractions and events.


Lumsden Heritage Trust

Restoration of the A199 train and carriage,
A crowd gathered today as the recovered locomotive was placed in front of the Lumsden Railway Precinct – a tribute to a bygone era.

The Lumsden Heritage Trust has been campaigning to retrieve the two 1885 V class steam locomotives from the Oreti River for about half a decade.

Retrieving the machines – thought to be one of the last of their kind in the world – was no easy task. It was full steam ahead on Wednesday morning, with water pumps on and a crane poised above the first locomotive, which first hit New Zealand tracks back in 1885.



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