Visit Invercargill, Southland, NZ

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  • Invercargill sits at the mouth of the New River, on the southern coast of the South Island. It is the main centre of the Southland Region, which is dominated by dairy farming on the fertile alluvial soils of the Southern Plains.

    Invercargill was settled primarily by Scottish immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s, coinciding with the Otago gold rush. It became one of New Zealand’s most prosperous cities, as can be seen by the many grand buildings still standing today.

    Invercargill is home to a university, several museums and art galleries, and some beautiful public gardens. Nearby Oreti beach, about 25 km long, was featured in the Hollywood film “The World’s Fastest Indian”.

    Invercargill is a gateway to Stewart Island and the Catlins region.

    Accommodation in Invercargill (NZ)

    Invercargill has a very wide range of accommodation options that includes hotels, motels, bed & breakfast establishments and self-contained units.

    Budget travellers are catered for by backpacker lodges and holiday parks, which permit motor camping and traditional tent camping.

    Holiday homes are available for rent in the area. There are also farmstay lodges, which offer guests the opportunity to participate in rural activities, such as horse riding, and to appreciate traditional kiwi hospitality.

    Transport around Invercargill

    Invercargill’s airport is only 3 km from the city centre. It services flights to and from Christchurch and Wellington daily, as well as flights to and from Stewart Island.

    Invercargill was the first New Zealand city to build a railway. Railway lines to the east and west are now used only for freight. Passenger services run only on the main trunk line, which leads north to Dunedin and destinations beyond.

    By road, Invercargill is reached either by State Highway 1, from Dunedin, or State Highway 6, from Fiordland and Queenstown region. Inter-city coach services make regular connections.

    Buses,taxis and bikes are convenient for transport within the city, with shuttles available to the airport.

    Tourist Activities around Invercargill

    Invercargill’s Queens Gardens is a “jewel in the crown” of the city. Eighty hectares in size, it features an indoor winter gardens, aviary and animal enclosures. Hawthorne Gardens, Anderson Park, and other public spaces that include sculptures, art galleries and playgrounds are found throughout the city.

    The Southland Museum, located next to Queens Gardens, is one of New Zealand’s principal provincial museums and well worth a visit. There are also a Truck Museum and Fire Service Museum located in the city.

    An aquatic centre, “Splash Palace” is a favourite family activity, especially during cold, wet weather. In summer, Oreti Beach and other coastal destinations are great for picnics, fishing and other water sports.

    Invercargill’s built heritage is quite unlike any other New Zealand city, with many stone churches and other grand buildings from the turn of the century still standing, including the Provincial Buildings, and theatres.

    The Aurora Australis, or southern lights are often visible at night from Invercargill – a dazzling atmospheric display is not usually seen in places further north.

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