The City of Invercargill is the southernmost city of New Zealand, known for its warm and friendly people, unique architecture and landmarks, wildlife and beautiful Southland scenery. The city is also the gateway to some of New Zealand's most beautiful destinations including Stewart Island, Fiordland and the Catlins. Whether you're just stopping by during a tour of the South Island, or choosing Invercargill as your next family holiday destination, you'll find plenty of things to see and do.
Starting in the city centre, you'll find Queens Park - a beautiful botanical reserve famous for its beautiful rose gardens and the huge Steans Memorial Winter Garden, filled with flowering potted plants. Other attractions here include a small wildlife park featuring deer, wallabies, and a large aviary of exotic birds.
The Water Tower on Leet Street is another very popular attraction - now allowing visitors to climb to the top and see breath-taking views of the entire city. This building was finished in 1889 for the Public Works Department, and is today a unique landmark of Invercargill.
If you're planning a day trip, the Invercargill Botanical Rose Gardens feature a wide variety of plants and groomed landscapes, a bird haven, kangaroos and llamas. While you're there you can stop by the nearby Southland Museum and Art Gallery on Gala Street. This unique building is designed in the shape of a pyramid, and features art exhibition galleries, live Tuatara, and a Sub Antarctic Islands Centre with an introduction to New Zealand's five isolated island reserves, which remain hundreds of kilometres south of Invercargill.
Just five kilometres north of Invercargill City Centre, you'll find the Anderson Park Art Gallery - an elegant Georgian style house built back in 1925, surrounded by carefully groomed gardens and New Zealand native bush. The Art Gallery itself is home to a number of works from famous New Zealand artists, as well as hand-made pottery, sculptures, landscapes and portraits.
Further out, just 45 minutes from Invercargill, you'll find Porpoise Bay - home to the rare Hector's dolphins. Take the opportunity to watch them surfing in the waves, and you might just see the yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and sea lions while you're there. This beautiful beach is a stunning example of New Zealand wildlife at its best. And finally at the southernmost point of the South Island is Slope Point. This scenic wonder of New Zealand can be reached by a short 20-minute walk across private farmland. You'll know you're there when you find a signpost that shows the distance to the equator and the South Pole! Make sure you use the opportunity to take some photos while you're there.
Invercargill is very tourist-friendly and has plenty of shops, café's, restaurants and accommodation options available for travellers. If you're looking for affordable, comfortable accommodation that makes the most of the unique Southland scenery, book your accommodation at the Invercargill camping grounds - you'll find them just 10 minutes from Invercargill City and three minutes from the Southern Scenic Route!