As New Zealand’s southernmost city (and southernmost city in the world!), Invercargill is fondly referred to as the ‘City of Water and Light’ due to its long summer daylight hours and frequent appearances of the magical Aurora Australis. You might be surprised at how much Invercargill has to offer, it’s easy to fill an action-packed day or two - as the town is somewhat of a homage to motoring legends. For lovers of seafood you can’t miss visiting the port town of Bluff – home of the famous Bluff oysters. Grown in the deep icy waters of the Foveaux Strait, they are a highly sought after worldwide!
While you’re there, make sure to try other local delicacies such as Paua, Swedes, Blue Cod, the famous Southland cheese roll and don't forget about the coffee scene - all dished up with a good dash of southern hospitality.
Discover more of Southland here!
Invercargill is widely known as New Zealand’s Classic Motoring Capital. Starting out Invercargill’s obsession for wheels stems from the celebrated Burt Munro setting a land speed record in 1967 on an old Indian Scout Motorbike. Half a century later you can still see the original motorbike on display at E Hayes & Son and visit Classic Motorcycle Mecca, a museum with over 300 bikes and motorcycle-themed artwork on display. The magic continues down the road at Bill Richardson’s Transport World, from vintage trucks to classic cars to racing cars and even farm machinery there is something unique for everyone to see. Or have a go at Dig This Invercargill, New Zealand's first & only heavy equipment playground.
For a small place, Bluff has plenty to do. The Bluff Maritime Museum is a must-do, with fascinating historical displays on subjects such as; whaling, oystering, and local shipwrecks. Or if it’s an adrenaline rush you’re looking for, then plunge into the deep and come eye to eye with a great white shark from within the safety of Shark Experience’s shark cage.
Sitting at the edge of the inner city is the sprawling Queens Park that caters to those keen to swing a nine iron, play a round of frisbee golf, or to walk the many tracks that meander through the park. The grace of this beautiful showpiece complements the grand Victorian architecture across the city.
Oreti Beach is a short drive from the city centre and is one of New Zealand’s only drivable beaches, often a food gathering spot for flounders.
For lovers of seafood you can’t miss visiting the port town of Bluff – particularly from March to August when the famous Bluff oysters are in season. Grown in the deep icy waters of the Foveaux Strait, they take longer to reach maturity and as such have an intensity of flavour which is highly sought after. The fishing town is an attraction in itself, with a charming heritage facade it creates a feeling of nostalgia almost like it was forgotten in time. Whilst there let the weather guide your activities towards deep sea fishing adventures Bluff Hill Lookout, various hikes or Stirling Point – which is the beginning – or end of the iconic State Route 1.
The city boasts its own cuisine style, a fusion of tradition with quirky local produce. Wine and chocolate are combined for Pinot Noir chocolates at the Seriously Good Chocolate Shop, and cheese is rolled up in bread to a surprisingly more sophisticated experience than one would expect. One of the most famous tasters is the Bluff Oyster, ranked as one of the best in the world, which comes from the cool waters of Foveaux Straight.
The Lodges at Transport World are a perfect option for guests looking for a sanctuary to relax and recharge, offering uniquely themed apartment units that are spacious and packed full of supreme comfort. For something for the whole family The Ascot Park Hotel is a great choice. Set on the outskirts of town with lovely grounds, an onsite restaurant, heated pool and a wide range of rooms to suit every budget.