Invercargill is one of the world’s most southernmost city and the economic powerhouse of New Zealand’s south island. Often referred to as the "City of Water and Light", due to its position alongside the Waihopai river and the frequent visibility of the Aurora Australis, Invercargill offers visitors a truly unique destination which offers incredible scenery and natural wonder on the doorstep of a modern and thriving metropolis. With a huge array of cultural attractions, lively cafes, restaurants and bars, there truly is something for everyone.
Invercargill has seen its popularity as a tourist destination soar in recent years - which means the volume and quality of accommodation has also increased. There are plenty of hotels and B&Bs to choose from, but serviced apartments are the way to go for anyone planning an extended stay in the city. These properties offer a host of convenient features, including room cleaning, secure access and kitchen facilities, whilst also offering guests their own private space - perfect for those who are on a working trip and need a quieter space to focus.
Invercargill has a diverse selection of things to see and do - whether you are looking to explore the maori culture, experience modern city life, or enjoy some of the incredible natural wonders the region has to offer. It’s intriguing architecture is also a sight in itself, with bold contemporary structures standing shoulder to shoulder with beautiful colonial-era buildings.
The city centre is full of world-class cultural offerings, including several museums dedicated both the city’s colonial and indigenous heritage. The city is also proud of its motorcycling pedigree and there are several landmarks and collections that will appeal to racing enthusiasts and the casual observer alike.
Of course, as one of the world’s southernmost urban areas, Invercargill has some incredible wildlife and natural wonders that can’t be seen anywhere else on earth. Excursions can be made to some of the stunning hills and ridges, or to the pristine, sprawling and almost deserted beaches along the Foveaux Strait coast.
Invercargill offers excellent dining experiences to suit all tastes. Anyone looking for something with some sophistication would do well to give Elegance at 148 on Elles Restaurant a try, with its contemporary European menu, whilst Buster Crabb is another classy venue offering local produce. For something a little more laid back, there’s The Rocks Cafe on Dee street, offering a bistro-type dining experience.
Invercargill has a great selection of shops, with most being clustered around Dee Street and Liddell street. There’s also South City Mall on Appleby, which has numerous global fashion brands, as well as several restaurants all under one roof. Finally, Cambridge Place Arcade is a great place for those seeking quirky independent stores and local fashions.
Invercargill has a proud motorcycling heritage, as detailed anyone who has seen the movie the World’s Fastest Indian will know. E Hayes and Sons is a museum exhibiting Burt Munro’s original machine, along with several other classic motorcycles. For those more interested in the history and culture of the region, then there’s the Southland Museum and Art Gallery. Invercargill also has plenty of natural attractions, including Queens Park and Oreti Beach.
If you want to travel around Invercargill by public transport, then your only option is to use the bus service that runs across the city and to surrounding areas. There are also two taxi operators in the city, Blue Star Taxis and Invercargill Taxis. You also have the option to rent a vehicle at the airport - which is often the best idea if you’re looking to explore the region outside of the urban area.
Whilst invercargill is not know as a business centre for the country, it does have a strong economy, buoyed by local firms such as McKnight & Brown - an independent retailer, interior design firm Ivan Bulling and The Seriously Good Chocolate Company. Recently, the New Zealand government has launched an initiative to encourage more firms to invest in the area, which will no doubt see an increase in business activity in the coming years.