Fiercely proud of their local heritage, Invercargill is somewhat of a homage to motoring legends, whether they raced it, built it or collected it you’ll find it on display at one of our three motoring museums that have been carefully curated to offer a world class experience. The city streets are lined with grand architecture that gives you a feel of times gone by. But don’t be fooled there’s much more than meets the eye with a thriving coffee scene, funky street art and an inner city rebuild there’s plenty to uncover in Invercargill.
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, the Lighthouse Gallery, Maritime Museum, Bluff Hill Lookout, various hikes or Stirling Point – which is the beginning – or end of the iconic State Route 1.
An 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 & Sons and visit Motorcycle Mecca, a museum with over 300 bikes and motorcycle themed artwork on display alongside a live restoration workshop allowing the visitor to follow the process. The magic continues down the road at Bill Richardson’s Transport World, where the focus moves to the four wheeled variety spanning over 15,000m. It is so well put together that you can’t help but appreciate the vision that Bill’s family had at the beginning of this journey which helped Invercargill to consolidate its position as New Zealand’s Classic Motoring Capital.
Have a go at Dig This Invercargill, New Zealand's first and only heavy equipment playground. Dig This is an experience unlike any other. Get ready to rip, push and pull your way to a whole new level of excitement by operating bulldozers, excavators, mini excavators and skid steers in a giant gravel pit.
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.
If you want to get away from it all, then a stay at Whare Manu might just be the perfect option for you. This boutique cottage is set back into native bush with views of the sea and beach, it also features luxurious side by side outdoor baths on the deck.