District 9980 has 30 Rotary Clubs with 1,300 members. It is 400km long by 250km wide and it covers the southern half of the South Island of New Zealand.
The area encompasses the provinces of South Canterbury, Otago and Southland and contains many tourist attractions for which New Zealand is renowned. It commences 150km (2 hour drive) south of Christchurch international airport and includes the population centres of Dunedin, Invercargill, Timaru and Queenstown.
Click HERE to link to the A to Z website which highlights attractions in the Otago and Southland parts of the region.
This very scenic part of New Zealand includes the beautiful southern lakes of Manapouri, Te Anau, Wakatipu and Wanaka, which are favourites with overseas tourists. Lakes Pukaki, Tekapo and others, which form part of a hydro electric power generating system, are also used for power boating, sailing and water skiing.
Other district scenic highlights are: New Zealand's highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook, 3754 meters high, towering in the Southern Alps; the magnificent Milford Sound; the natural splendour of Queenstown, and the dramatic landscapes of Central Otago and the Mackenzie Country. There are a number of popular ski fields frequented by skiers in the winter.
Coastal areas are home to various species of penguins (little blue, the world's smallest, and the rare yellow eyed penguin) and there is an exclusive area on Otago Peninsular where royal northern albatross breed. These albatross have up to a 3 meter wingspan. Rare prehistoric tuataras can be viewed in captivity at a breeding program at the Southland Museum. Just a 20 minute scenic flight from Invercargill there is a 160,000 hectare island; Stewart Island. It is almost entirely covered in native bush and is a haven for native birdlife.
The region offers a wide diversity of other features including glow worm caves at Te Anau, a petrified forest at Curio Bay, Maori rock drawings, once vibrant gold field townships and several National Parks including Fiordland (New Zealand's largest national park, which extends from high mountains right down to remote and rugged coastlines), Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring.
A district visit takes about two weeks. Touring groups of up to 10 people (or up to 5 couples) travel in rental mini vans. Visitors are generally home hosted by local Rotary Club members although hotel / motel accommodation may be required on occasions at 2 locations which are popular tourist destinations with limited Rotary presence. Visits are arranged to coincide with host clubs normal meeting times. Visitors usually bring a PowerPoint presentation to show host clubs.


If you're interested in arranging a Friendship Exchange contact Peter Williams, Taieri Rotary Club, email: pfwilliams@xtra.co.nz