Heritage Trail

Invercargill Heritage Trail

108 Gala Street, Invercargill

This trail offers visitors an interesting tour of heritage sites and diverse open spaces. The half-day tour is best undertaken by vehicle, with stops for walking in gardens, bush and the Invercargill city centre. It can start at any of the 18 sites of interest.

In the early days, Invercargill’s importance as a commercial centre increased as bush was cleared and farming extended into the Southland Plains. This prosperity was responsible for the wealth of quality Victorian buildings built in the 1880s and 1890s. At the turn of the century, Southland’s timber and coal industries contributed to the growth of the town, and the many examples of Edwardian architecture are testimony to this prosperity. The large number of Art Deco style buildings indicates that the Depression of the 1930s arrived later in Invercargill than in other centres. The wool boom of the 1950s led again to economic prosperity, with the erection of buildings in the style of the modernist movement. It is this variety, proximity and coherence of historic architectural style that makes Invercargill unique.

JT Thomson, appointed the first Surveyor General of New Zealand in 1876, laid out the initial plans for Invercargill. As well as exploring the fascinating architecture of the city, this heritage trail explores some of his legacy, including the 40m wide streets in the city centre, the grid street layout, and the town belt reserves.

Download a pdf version of the Invercargill Heritage Trail here

Great South
Last modified
Thu 8 Jul 2021
  • Activities
  • Attraction
  • Culture & Heritage
  • Free Things to Do
  • Sightseeing
  • Historic Building
  • Heritage Trail
  • Half-Day
  • Family Friendly
  • Full-Day
  • Scenic Attraction
  • Self-Guided
  • Walking & Tramping