Kiwilanders New Zealand

The 20 Best Things to Do and See in Invercargill

Best things to do and see in Invercargill

Invercargill, located in the southernmost part of New Zealand’s South Island, offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors. Here are 20 of the best things to do in Invercargill:

1. Bill Richardson Transport World

Bill Richardson Transport World is a world-class museum withΒ an extensive collection of vintage and classic vehicles.Β It is the largest private automotive museum in the Southern Hemisphere and showcases the passion of Bill Richardson, a local businessman.

Bill Richardson Transport World

πŸ“Highlights:

  • The museum features a diverse range of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.
  • Exhibits cover the evolution of transportation, from early automobiles to modern vehicles.
  • The Classic Motorcycle Mecca, located within the museum, is a must-visit for motorcycle enthusiasts.
  • Interactive displays and engaging exhibits provide a hands-on experience for visitors.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • It’s a unique opportunity to explore the history of transportation in an impressive collection.
  • The museum appeals to both automobile enthusiasts and those interested in cultural and technological history.
  • The “World’s Fastest Indian” motorcycle, famously associated with Burt Munro, is a star attraction.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Allocate sufficient time for your visit, as the extensive collection can take several hours to explore.
  • Check for any special events or guided tours that might enhance your experience.
  • The museum caters to a broad audience, making it a family-friendly attraction.

2. Queens Park

A picturesque public park in Invercargill known for its expansive greenery, diverse gardens, and family-friendly attractions. Queens Park is not just a green space but a haven for both locals and visitors, offering a blend of natural beauty, recreational spots, and educational elements through its botanical features.

  • Location: Gala Street, Invercargill.

Queens Park

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Invercargill Botanic Gardens, featuring a wide variety of plants and flowers.
  • Children’s playgrounds for family fun.
  • An aviary with native and exotic birds.
  • Japanese garden and rhododendron dell for serene walks.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Tranquil surroundings for relaxation and picnics.
  • Ideal for nature lovers and those seeking outdoor activities.
  • Well-maintained gardens showcasing diverse flora.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Bring a picnic and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
  • Explore the various themed gardens.
  • Check for seasonal events or guided tours.

3. E. Hayes and Sons Motorcycles

E. Hayes and Sons Motorcycles is not just a retail store but a cultural destination that celebrates the history of motorcycles, particularly the legendary “World’s Fastest Indian.” It offers a fascinating experience for motorcycle enthusiasts and those intrigued by the story of Burt Munro.

E. Hayes and Sons Motorcycles

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Extensive range of motorcycles and accessories.
  • Showcases the story of Burt Munro and the “World’s Fastest Indian.”
  • Motorcycle enthusiasts’ haven with a friendly atmosphere.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Iconic destination for motorcycle enthusiasts and fans of the “World’s Fastest Indian” movie.
  • Opportunity to see and learn about rare and vintage motorcycles.
  • Friendly staff passionate about motorcycles and local history.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Explore the store’s motorcycle collection and related memorabilia
  • Engage with staff to learn more about the history behind the “World’s Fastest Indian.”
  • Check for any events or special displays.

4. Classic Motorcycle Mecca

Classic Motorcycle Mecca is a dedicated space within Invercargill’s transport museum, offering an immersive experience for those passionate about classic motorcycles. It’s a must-visit for enthusiasts looking to delve into these iconic two-wheelers’ rich history and craftsmanship.

Classic Motorcycle Mecca

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Impressive collection of classic and vintage motorcycles.
  • Rare and iconic motorcycles from different eras.
  • Engaging displays and exhibits on motorcycle history.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • A paradise for motorcycle enthusiasts offering an in-depth exploration of classic bikes.
  • Diverse range of motorcycles, from early models to iconic classics.
  • Opportunity to learn about the evolution of motorcycle design and technology.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Explore the exhibits with a focus on the unique stories behind each motorcycle.
  • Check for any themed displays or temporary exhibitions.
  • Combine the visit with Bill Richardson Transport World for a comprehensive experience.

5. Southland Museum and Art Gallery

The Southland Museum and Art Gallery offers a blend of natural history, cultural heritage, and artistic expression, making it a compelling destination for locals and visitors interested in exploring the rich tapestry of Southland’s past and present.

Southland Museum and Art Gallery

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Extensive natural history exhibits, including the Tuatarium (home to live tuatara reptiles).
  • Art gallery featuring both contemporary and traditional New Zealand art.
  • Exhibitions on regional history, Maori culture, and Antarctic exploration.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Offers a comprehensive insight into Southland’s natural and cultural heritage.
  • The Tuatarium provides a unique opportunity to see rare tuatara, a prehistoric reptile.
  • A diverse art collections showcasing local and national talent.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Allocate time to explore both the museum and art gallery sections.
  • Attend any special exhibitions or events that may be taking place.
  • Check the schedule for guided tours or educational programs.

6. Bluff

Bluff is not only a geographical landmark but also a destination offering a unique blend of coastal beauty, maritime history, and delectable seafood experiences.

  • Location: Approximately 30 minutes drive from Invercargill.

Bluff

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Iconic Bluff signpost marking distances to various international locations.
  • Bluff Hill/Motupohue for panoramic views of Foveaux Strait and Stewart Island.
  • Stirling Point, a popular photo spot with a maritime theme.
  • Fresh seafood, especially the famous Bluff oysters.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Picturesque coastal landscapes and a sense of being at the southernmost point of New Zealand’s South Island.
  • Culinary delights with the opportunity to savor fresh seafood, particularly the renowned Bluff oysters.
  • Access point for ferries to Stewart Island.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Enjoy a stroll around Stirling Point for scenic views and photo opportunities.
  • Visit during the Bluff Oyster Festival if your trip aligns with this popular event.
  • Explore local seafood restaurants for a taste of Bluff’s culinary specialties.

7. Oreti Beach

Oreti Beach is a serene escape, perfect for those seeking a peaceful coastal experience and the chance to connect with nature along the shores of the Southern Ocean.

  • Location: Accessible from Invercargill, approximately a 10-15 minute drive.

Oreti Beach

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Long stretch of sandy beach ideal for leisurely walks and relaxation.
  • Popular for beachcombing and birdwatching, with various seabirds frequenting the area.
  • Scenic views of the Southern Ocean and Foveaux Strait.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Tranquil and unspoiled natural beauty, providing a peaceful retreat.
  • Opportunities for outdoor activities, including beachcombing and birdwatching.
  • A great spot for enjoying the beauty of the Southern New Zealand coastline.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Bring comfortable footwear for walks along the sandy shores.
  • Capture the sunset for breathtaking views over the ocean.
  • Check local tide times for the best beachcombing experiences.

8. Anderson Art Gallery

Anderson Park Art Gallery provides an enriching experience for art enthusiasts, combining the appreciation of diverse artworks with the tranquility of its scenic park setting.

Anderson Park Art Gallery

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Diverse collection of New Zealand and international art.
  • Set within the beautiful Anderson Park, providing a serene backdrop for art appreciation.
  • Regularly rotating exhibitions featuring various artistic styles and mediums.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Blend of cultural enrichment and natural beauty, combining art appreciation with a stroll through the park.
  • Exhibitions cater to a range of artistic tastes, from traditional to contemporary.
  • Opportunity to enjoy both indoor and outdoor artistic experiences.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Explore the surrounding Anderson Park for additional natural beauty.
  • Check the gallery’s schedule for temporary exhibitions or special events.
  • Combine the visit with a leisurely walk through the park’s gardens.

9. Rugby Park Stadium

Rugby Park Stadium is more than a sports venue; it’s a hub for local sports culture and allows visitors to witness the enthusiasm surrounding rugby in New Zealand.

  • Location: 30 Elles Road, Waikiwi, Invercargill.

Rugby Park Stadium

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Home to the Southland Stags rugby team, creating a lively atmosphere during matches.
  • Modern facilities for spectators, providing a comfortable viewing experience.
  • Hosts a range of sporting events beyond rugby, contributing to the local sports community.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Immerse yourself in the passionate rugby culture of New Zealand by attending a live match.
  • Experience the excitement of a local sports event in a modern stadium setting.
  • Enjoy the camaraderie of sports enthusiasts and locals cheering for their teams.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Check the schedule for upcoming rugby matches or other sporting events.
  • Arrive early to soak in the pre-match atmosphere and enjoy facilities.
  • Explore nearby dining options for a complete sporting experience.

10. Stirling Point

Stirling Point offers not only a geographical landmark but also a captivating coastal experience, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring the southernmost reaches of New Zealand.

  • Location: Bluff, approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Invercargill.

Stirling Point

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Iconic Stirling Point signpost indicating distances to various global locations.
  • Maritime-themed area with anchor and nautical elements.
  • Panoramic views of the Southern Ocean and Stewart Island.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Stand at the southernmost point of the South Island for a unique geographical experience.
  • Capture memorable photos with the famous signpost.
  • Enjoy stunning coastal views and observe the maritime surroundings.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Plan a visit during sunset for a picturesque and atmospheric experience.
  • Take a leisurely stroll around the area to appreciate the coastal beauty.
  • Combine the visit with exploring nearby Bluff and its attractions.

11. Demolition World

Demolition World is an artistic endeavor that transforms discarded materials into unique and thought-provoking creations. It offers a different perspective on art and sustainability, making it an intriguing stop for those seeking unconventional experiences.

  • Location: 290 Bain Street, Clifton, Invercargill 9877, New Zealand
  • Website: Demolition World

Demolition World

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Eclectic collection of sculptures and artworks made from recycled materials.
  • Unconventional and whimsical structures that showcase creativity and sustainability.
  • A distinctive and unconventional art space that challenges traditional perceptions.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Experience a one-of-a-kind art environment that repurposes discarded materials.
  • Witness the imaginative and often humorous creations of artist Nigel Wilson.
  • Support and appreciate the concept of recycling and sustainability in art.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Keep an open mind and embrace the unconventional nature of the artworks.
  • Take your time to explore the various sculptures and appreciate the details.
  • Check for any events or exhibitions that might be happening during your visit.

12. Spot the Southern Lights

The Aurora Australis is a natural light display caused by the interaction between charged particles from the sun and the Earth’s magnetosphere.

It is often visible in high-latitude regions close to the Antarctic Circle, and Invercargill’s southern location makes it a potential viewing spot.

To increase your chances of seeing the Southern Lights in Invercargill or other southern locations, it’s best to:

  • Check the Aurora Forecast: Some online tools and websites provide aurora forecasts, predicting the likelihood of aurora activity in specific regions. Keep an eye on these forecasts to plan your viewing.
  • Dark Sky and Clear Conditions:Β City light pollution can hinder visibility. Choose a location away from city lights with a clear, dark sky for optimal viewing.
  • Time of Year:Β The best time to see the Southern Lights is winter when the nights are the longest. However, auroras can occur at any time of the year.
  • Patience: Seeing the Southern Lights is not guaranteed, even in locations where they are frequently visible. Patience is key, as auroras can be unpredictable.

Southern Lights

13. Tuatara Gallery

Tuatara Gallery provides a charming space to appreciate and acquire unique art and craft pieces. It’s an excellent stop for those interested in supporting and exploring the creativity of local artists in Invercargill.

  • Location: 108 Gala Street, Invercargill, New Zealand
  • Website: Tuatara Museum
  • Note: Information is limited and address could have been changed recently.

Tuatara Gallery

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Curated selection of contemporary and traditional artworks.
  • Unique handmade jewelry, ceramics, and other crafted items.
  • Emphasis on promoting the work of local artists and artisans.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Discover and purchase one-of-a-kind artworks and crafts created by New Zealand talent.
  • Support local artists and artisans by exploring their creations.
  • Experience the creative diversity of the region through the curated selection.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Take your time to browse the gallery’s offerings and appreciate the craftsmanship.
  • Inquire about the stories behind the artworks and the artists themselves.
  • Check for any special exhibitions or featured artists during your visit.

14. Splash Palace

Splash Palace provides a welcoming environment for water-based recreation and fitness, making it an ideal destination for individuals, families, and those looking to enjoy a variety of aquatic activities.

Splash Palace

πŸ“Highlights:

    • Indoor and outdoor pools suitable for various water activities and fitness.
    • Water slides and play areas for children, making it a family-friendly destination.
    • Aquatic fitness classes and programs for people of all ages.

🧐 Why Visit:

    • Enjoy a day of aquatic fun with family or friends in a safe and entertaining environment.
    • Participate in swimming lessons or fitness classes tailored to different skill levels.
    • Take advantage of the facility’s diverse offerings, from leisurely swims to water slides.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

    • Check the schedule for any special events or themed activities.
    • Consider bringing swimwear and towels, especially if you plan to use the water facilities.
    • Explore nearby amenities for a complete day out in the area.

15. Invercargill Brewery

Invercargill Brewery is a hub for beer enthusiasts and those interested in exploring the world of craft brewing. With a commitment to quality and innovation, it offers a delightful experience for visitors looking to savor local brews in a friendly atmosphere.

Invercargill Brewery

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Craft brewery offers various beer styles, including seasonal and limited editions.
  • Tasting room where visitors can sample and purchase different beers.
  • Emphasis on quality ingredients and innovative brewing techniques.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Experience the local craft beer scene and taste a variety of unique brews.
  • Engage with knowledgeable staff who can provide insights into the brewing process.
  • Support a local business dedicated to producing high-quality craft beers.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Take advantage of beer-tasting options to explore a range of flavors.
  • Inquire about brewery tours or events happening during your visit.
  • Pair your beer-tasting experience with local snacks or meals if available.

16. Cue Cinema

Cue Cinema offers a delightful alternative to modern theaters, providing a unique and intimate setting and a diverse film selection for movie enthusiasts seeking nostalgia.

  • Location: 29 Dee Street, Invercargill 9810, New Zealand.
  • Website: Currently not available

Cue Cinema

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Classic architecture and ambiance are reminiscent of traditional cinemas.
  • Screening a mix of mainstream and independent films.
  • Intimate setting, contributing to a unique and cozy movie experience.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Enjoy a cinematic experience in a setting that evokes the charm of bygone eras.
  • Watch a diverse range of films, including popular releases and independent productions.
  • Immerse yourself in the nostalgic atmosphere of a well-preserved historic cinema.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Check the cinema schedule for showtimes and film selections.
  • Arrive early to appreciate the architectural details and ambiance.
  • Consider pairing the movie experience with nearby dining options for a complete outing.

17. Ivy Box Community Garden

The Ivy Box Community Garden offers a tranquil retreat within the city, fostering community engagement and a shared love for gardening. It’s a great spot for those who appreciate the beauty of communal green spaces.

  • Location: Corner of Gala and Forth Streets, Invercargill.

Ivy Box Community Garden

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Community-driven garden space maintained by local volunteers.
  • Individual plots for community members to cultivate and harvest their produce.
  • Welcoming atmosphere with opportunities for shared gardening and socializing.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Experience the beauty of a community garden and the collaboration among residents.
  • Learn about local gardening practices and possibly engage with gardening enthusiasts.
  • Enjoy a peaceful stroll through the garden, appreciating the variety of plants and flowers.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Respect the individual plots and the efforts put in by community members.
  • Check for any community events or gardening workshops that might be happening.
  • Consider bringing a small picnic to enjoy in this serene green space.

18. Southern Farmers Market

The Southern Farmers’ Market is not just a shopping destination; it’s a lively community gathering that celebrates local agriculture, creativity, and the joy of supporting regional producers.

  • Location: Railway Station 1 Leven Street, Invercargill 9810, New Zealand
  • Contact: Only via Facebook Social Page

Southern Farmers Market

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Fresh produce including fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products.
  • Locally crafted goods such as handmade soaps, jewelry, and artisanal treats.
  • A lively and community-focused atmosphere with live music and entertainment.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Support local farmers and artisans while enjoying diverse, fresh, locally sourced products.
  • Experience the community spirit of a bustling market with a variety of offerings.
  • Discover unique, handmade items showcasing the region’s creativity and agricultural bounty.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Bring a reusable bag to carry your purchases and contribute to sustainability.
  • Arrive early for the best selection of fresh produce and artisanal products.
  • Engage with vendors to learn more about their products and farming practices.

19. Invercargill Heritage Trail

The Invercargill Heritage Trail provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to delve into the city’s past, appreciate its architectural heritage, and gain a deeper understanding of its historical significance.

Invercargill Heritage Trail

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Marked trail featuring plaques and information boards at key points of interest.
  • Architectural gems, including Victorian and Edwardian-era buildings.
  • Insights into the city’s development and historical events.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Explore Invercargill’s architectural heritage and learn about its fascinating past.
  • Enjoy a self-paced walking tour that allows you to absorb the city’s charm.
  • Gain insights into the cultural and historical significance of key landmarks.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Pick up a map or guidebook from the local visitor center or start at the Information Centre in Wachner Place.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, as the trail covers various points of interest throughout the city.
  • Combine the heritage trail with visits to nearby attractions for a comprehensive experience.

20. Andersons Park

Andersons Park offers a serene and aesthetically pleasing environment, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful escape into nature, surrounded by well-designed gardens and captivating outdoor art.

  • Location: Corner of Oreti and North Roads, Invercargill.

Andersons Park

πŸ“Highlights:

  • Beautifully landscaped gardens with a variety of plantings.
  • Outdoor sculptures and art installations scattered throughout the park.
  • Tranquil walking paths and open spaces for relaxation and picnics.

🧐 Why Visit:

  • Enjoy a leisurely stroll through well-maintained gardens, appreciating the seasonal blooms.
  • Discover outdoor sculptures and art pieces that enhance the natural surroundings.
  • Ideal for a peaceful retreat, whether for a solo walk, a family picnic, or a quiet moment of reflection.

⭐ Visitor Tips:

  • Check for any seasonal events or outdoor exhibitions happening in the park.
  • Bring a camera to capture the beauty of the gardens and sculptures.
  • Combine the visit with nearby attractions such as the Anderson Park Art Gallery.

πŸ§‘β€πŸ’» Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Best Things to Do and See in Invercargill

1. What is Invercargill known for?

Invercargill is known for its rich Scottish heritage, Victorian architecture, and being the southernmost city in New Zealand.

2. What is the best time to visit Invercargill?

Invercargill has a temperate maritime climate. Summer (December to February) is popular for outdoor activities, but any time of the year can be suitable depending on your preferences.

3. What are the must-visit attractions in Invercargill?

Popular attractions include the E Hayes and Sons Motorworks Museum, Queens Park, Bill Richardson Transport World, and the Classic Motorcycle Mecca.

4. Is there a local art scene in Invercargill?

Yes, Invercargill has a vibrant art scene. Visitors can explore local galleries like the Anderson Park Art Gallery.

5. Are there any nature reserves or parks to visit in Invercargill?

Queens Park is a beautiful public park with gardens, walking trails, and a golf course. Oreti Beach is another popular spot for outdoor activities.

6. Can I see wildlife near Invercargill?

Yes, the nearby Stewart Island is known for its birdlife, and you might spot seals and sea lions along the coast.

7. What are the recommended places to eat in Invercargill?

Visitors often enjoy dining at local cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Popular options include The Batch, Louie’s CafΓ©, and The Rocks Restaurant.

8. Is there a local farmers’ market in Invercargill?

Yes, Invercargill hosts a Farmers’ Market where you can find fresh produce and local products.

9. How do I get around Invercargill?

Invercargill is easily navigable by car or on foot. Taxis and public transportation are also available.

10. Are there accommodations in Invercargill suitable for different budgets?

Yes, Invercargill offers a range of accommodations, from budget-friendly options to luxury hotels.

Table of Contents

Scroll to Top