Invercargill Central
Stacy Williamson

Waihōpai | Invercargill

Invercargill mapWaihōpai Invercargill is the regional capital and commercial hub of Southland. Founded in the 1850s, it is New Zealand's southernmost city - and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Numerous heritage buildings give the city a charming old world. At the same time, the magnificent Queens Park impresses with its sprawling 80 hectares of beautifully kept gardens, wildlife habitats, playgrounds and sports areas.

Fondly dubbed the "City of Water and Light", referring to the long summer daylight hours, frequent appearances of the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights), and the city's position beside the Waihōpai River estuary, Invercargill has plenty of character and a friendly, laid-back atmosphere - except when it comes to celebrating Southland's obsession with classic motoring!

It all started with local legend Burt Munro setting a land speed record in 1967 on his Indian Scout Motorbike. Now recognised as New Zealand's "Classic Motoring Capital", the city boasts an impressive vintage truck collection, a world-class motorcycle display and more! 

Waihōpai means "place of peace and tranquillity" in Te Reo, the Māori language. This name aptly describes the peaceful and tranquil feel of the area, known for its fertile soil and abundant natural resources, making it a popular choice for settlement.

Wide streets in a gridded layout make it easy to find your way around the city, where you can enjoy the excellent cultural attractions, outstanding nature reserves and parks, and lively cafes, restaurants, and bars. There's something for the whole family in Invercargill!



You won't want to miss...

When planning your trip to Invercargill, make sure you check out these iconic and unmissable events!


Invercargill Stories

Invercargill Roadtrips

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Romantic getaway in Invercargill

2 Days


A romantic getaway in Invercargill, from a romantic walk in Queens Park to cracking codes in an escape room, cocktails overlooking the city's skyline, and so much more. Whether you like to…

The History Buff

3 Days

340 km


The history of Murihiku Southland is rich and varied, with each part of the region embracing their own unique past. View lighthouses and whalers' sites, moonshine distilleries, and Victorian…

The Foodie

3 Days

255 km


Foodies rejoice as you sample your way through some of the world’s best fare, all produced in the great Southern region.

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Explore Murihiku Southland


Te Rua-o-te-Moko Fiordland is a place of extraordinary scenic beauty. One of New Zealand’s oldest tourism drawcards, this rugged and remote region offers awe-inspiring landscapes and a wide range of… Read More

Stewart Island

Rakiura Stewart Island is the southernmost and smallest island of the three main islands of New Zealand. Just 30km from the South Island, it is a perfect retreat for those seeking peace, quiet, and… Read More

Florence Hill Lookout, The Catlins
Florence Hill Lookout, The Catlins

The Catlins

The Catlins, the spectacular coastal stretch between Balclutha and Invercargill, boasts a rugged beauty and untouched quality that is magnetic. Here you’ll find a world of native forests fringed by high… Read More

Gore District

Maruawai Gore and its surrounding district, sometimes called Eastern Southland, boasts an eclectic mix of heritage, culture, and industry. It is famous for its fly-fishing on the Mataura River, colourful… Read More


Southland’s port, Motupōhue Bluff, lies thirty kilometres south of Invercargill. The town, which is the southernmost settlement on mainland New Zealand, is home to the iconic Bluff Oyster & Food… Read More

Central Southland
Sam Deuchrass

Central Southland

Central Southland is 1.5 million hectares of lush, rolling farmland. The district has always thrived on agriculture, although sawmills, flax and linen-flax industries, lime works, brickworks and tile works… Read More

Mores Scenic Reserve Lookout, Western Southland
Sam Deuchrass

Western Southland

Tucked between the towering peaks of Fiordland to the west, the Takitimu mountain range to the north, and the wild ocean to the south, Western Southland boasts spectacular unspoilt scenery and limitless… Read More