There is a ton of charm, exploration, amazing road excursions, and references to things being the “southernmost” such-and-such in Invercargill. This list of the top things to do in Invercargill will help you organize your itinerary while you come to experience it for yourself.
1. Visit Queens Park
Queens Park, which spans 80 ha (198 acres) in the heart of the city, should definitely be seen while visiting Invercargill. Amongst the 10 art monuments, the Aviary, the Steans Centennial Winter Gardens, the Japanese Gardens, and the Jessie Calder Gardens, stroll around the immaculately maintained gardens for several photo options.
2. Take a stroll around Sandy Point
If you intend to stay in Invercargill for some time, visit Sandy Point. This region has a long history and a variety of environments, including both native woods and wetlands. Several of the neighborhood outdoor groups call the Sandy Point Domain home, although it’s best explored on the various walking routes. The well-marked, 13.5km (8.3 miles) network of walks offers a variety of experiences.
Superb views of the estuary and Stewart Island may be had from Hatch’s Hill Lookout, which is accessible in five minutes. Enjoy your stroll from Daffodil Bay to Hatch’s Hill shoreline as you pass by a combination of native forest and cliffs (45 minutes one way). The list goes on and on!
3. See a Selection of the Best Architecture
The varied architecture seen across the city is the finest way to showcase Invercargill’s proud heritage. See the 40 m (131 ft) tall Invercargill Water Tower, the city’s most recognizable feature. Although the water tower isn’t accessible from the inside, it still offers for a fantastic photo opportunity.
Take a picture of the beautiful Civic Theatre, which was constructed in 1905. This Gothic-style theater often hosts a variety of events. After dark, when it is wonderfully lighted up, is the ideal time to view it. Last but not least, because of its stained-glass windows, St Mary’s Basilica is frequently referred to as one of New Zealand’s most beautiful churches.
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4. Travel the Catlins by car
Make the Catlins Coast your first stop on any road trip you decide to take from Invercargill. Down the “Southern Scenic Highway,” there is a natural wonder roughly every 20 minutes, featuring some of New Zealand’s most beautiful waterfalls, excellent animal viewing, and coastal vistas.
5. Visit Transport World to see the largest collection of vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere
The largest collection of vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere is impressive beyond belief. Visit Bill Richardson’s Transport World to see some wonderfully restored historical artifacts on display, as well as a World of Wearable Art (WOW) exhibition and heritage memorabilia from Invercargill’s past. Relax at the on-site American-style diner after spending at least an hour or two exploring the entire 15,000m2 space.
6. Visit NZ’s Biggest Motorcycle Collection after that
Moreover, in the heart of Invercargill, there is a museum dedicated to vintage motorcycles, as if the largest collection of cars in the Southern Hemisphere weren’t enough! The largest collection of motorbikes in New Zealand is found at Historic Motorcycle Mecca, which also houses a wide variety of American, British, Japanese, and European motorcycles. A cafe and an art gallery with a motorbike theme are also present.
7. Visit Demolition World
Demolition World is arguably the most eccentric sight you’ll see in Southland if not all of New Zealand. It is essentially a little village made of repurposed materials and demolished houses. Visit the haunting theater, historical school, and terrifying dentist for some spooky exhibits! You can interact with the amiable hens and alpacas there. It costs one gold coin to enter.
8. Visit He Waka Tuia + Museum to admire the artwork
A magnificent art gallery can be found in the heart of Invercargill. An extensive permanent collection of works by well-known New Zealand artists is on display at the He Waka Tuia Art + Museum. Together with paintings, you might also come across some sculptures, ceramics, mixed-media works, and carvings. Moreover, entrance is free!
9. To Stewart Island by air
The third-largest inhabited island in New Zealand is Stewart Island. With Rakiura National Park occupying 80% of the island, it’s undoubtedly a spot to get lost in nature while enjoying some amazing multi-day hikes and wildlife activities. It is possible to fly directly to Oban from Invercargill Airport, which is not only a speedy route but also has some beautiful scenery along the way.
10. Wander to Thomsons Bush along the Waihopai Pathway
Invercargill offers even more beautiful outdoor areas to enjoy. Thomsons Bush and the Waihopai Walkway are two of our favorites. It takes 4 hours and 30 minutes to traverse the entire loop of the Waihopai Walkway, which follows the Waihopai River’s banks.
Otherwise, the trek can be shortened by using one of the several entry points to the boardwalk. Don’t forget to take the side route into the Thomsons Bush Reserve along the way, which has its own extensive network of bush trails.