With some of the most affordable house prices in New Zealand, along with strong levels of household income, Southland renovators already have a home-ground advantage when it comes to their renovation budgets.
Those savvy Southern home-owners have more than just enviable economics on their side. For the born-and-bred locals – like Refresh Renovations’ Southland branch owner, Hayley Hartigan and her family – the lure of the Southern lifestyle is obvious.
With its unique mix of family-friendly living, spectacular scenery, and unrivalled outdoor adventures; Southland is also a mecca for those keen to escape the frustrations of big-city life. And if you’re thinking of making the move, you’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome. The region’s councils have banded together to support the Southern Regional Development Strategy, which aims to attract 10,000 more people to be living in Southland by 2025.
With less than 100,000 people covering 3.1m hectares (12% of New Zealand’s total land area), there’s plenty of space to breathe. There are two distinct landscapes in Southland – the expansive plains of fertile farmland, which include a thriving dairy sector; and the spectacularly rugged coasts and mountains of Fiordland.
Invercargill is the region’s major city, with a population of around 57,000. Invercargill’s CBD is known for its stunning Victorian and Edwardian architecture, providing design inspiration for local home-owners. The city also has spacious parks and gardens, along with impressive sporting facilities, including the country’s first indoor velodrome.
Nearby Bluff serves as its seaport, and dredges the world-famous Bluff oysters from the Fouveaux Strait. Originally established as a shore-whaling station in 1836, it’s home to a collection of quaint historical buildings and cottages.
Gore is the next biggest town, which also offers comfortable suburban living. Southland also has many smaller centres; both coastal, and lifestyle blocks in rural or semi-rural areas.
Deserving of its World Heritage status, Fiordland is one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most visited wilderness regions. It’s home to Mitre Peak, the fiords of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, the beautiful lakeside towns of Te Anau and Manapouri; as well as a series of renowned walking tracks.
This tourist-rich region has also seen an increase in building activity in recent years – with Te Anau, in particular, undergoing a mini building boom.
The owners of Refresh Renovations Southland branch work with clients from north of Gore, up to Fiordland. As Hayley Hartigan explains, winters in Southland are colder than elsewhere in New Zealand, making quality insulation and heating a top priority for her clients.
“Any renovation project provides a good opportunity to think about improving the thermal performance of your home. That starts with quality insulation and draught-proofing; which is easy to do if you already modifying exterior or interior walls,” she says.
Depending on the client’s location, Hayley deals with the relevant local council - Invercargill City Council, Gore District Council, or Southland District Council – to streamline the building and resource consents process. (A quirky fact: Southland District Council even has a special consents policy around building your own whitebait hut!)
So whether you’re already enjoying the Southern lifestyle – or you’re looking to relocate there – Refresh Renovations is ready to help you create your ultimate home. To find out more, contact us today.
You might be interested in reading: A Contemporary Farmhouse Design
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for renovating in Southland, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*All information is believed to be true at the time of publishing and is subject to change.