We’ve finally made it to the bottom of the country on our epic road-trip! As New Zealand's southernmost city, Invercargill comes with perks like longer summer daylight hours and appears of the stunning Aurora Australis, earning it the title of the "City of Water and Light."
With a friendly, laid-back atmosphere, and wide streets in a gridded layout, you'll have an easy time finding your way around Invercargill and absorbing the charming historic quality of this city founded in the 1850s.
Invercargill has plenty to see and do, but we wanted to highlight the spots that are particularly unique to this place, especially the places that reflect the town's obsession with classic motoring! Here are our top 5 recommendations for spots to visit in Invercargill.
1. Dig This
- Location: 84 Otepuni Ave, Invercargill
- Suitable for: heaps of fun for kids (or kids at heart!)
If you've always wanted to operate heavy machinery... here's your chance! Dig This is a fantastic attraction in Invercargill where you can ride on and operate a range of heavy machines like diggers, bulldozers, excavators and more. You don't even need a drivers license to start having fun on these machines, and if you are in particular need of stress-relief, you can even choose to crush a car!
This attraction is absolutely groundbreaking and is the first of it's kind in New Zealand. Tickets are on the pricier side, but you get to choose from a range of experiences and you can save money by buying tickets online. Head to their website to find out more.
2. Oreti Beach
- Location: Access at the end of Dunns Road and Foveux Street
- Suitable for: nature lovers
Seemingly endless, Oreti beach stretches as far as the eye can see. This scenic beach is about 26km long, and being one of the very few beaches in New Zealand that you can drive on, it's no surprise that this coastal highway was the perfect setting for Southland's motorcycling hero Burt Munro. Munro set speed records with his modified Indian motorcycle, and the beach itself was a key filming location for the film about this kiwi legend; "The World's Fastest Indian."
Anyone looking for an adrenaline rush can go motorbiking, 4-wheel driving, or wind-surfing at Oreti Beach, or if you're looking for more laidback activities to do with the kids, go horse-riding, take a dip in the ocean, toss a frisbee around, or build some sand castles.
For a memorable evening with your loved ones, pick up some fish 'n chips and drive out onto the beach in the evening to catch a stunning sunset, followed by some stargazing.
3. Bill Richardson Transport World
- Location: 491 Tay Street, Hawthorndale, Invercargill
- Suitable for: car enthusiasts and families
Transport yourself to one of the most highly rated attractions in Invercargill – Bill Richardson Transport World. Designed to captivate people of all ages, this place is literally in an automotive paradise. With one of the largest private collection of vehicles on display anywhere in the world, you'll get the chance to see over 300 vehicles, from Kombis, to Model Ts, to Vintage V8s.
There's also a LEGO room to keep the kids entertained, a wearable art exhibition, a vintage jukebox collection and more. If you love unique and quirky attractions, do not miss out on this one! Kids' tickets are $20 and Adults' are $35, plus they offer discounted prices for seniors, students, and family groups.
4. Aurora Australis
- Location: Oreti Beach, Bluff, and Tiwai Point are all excellent viewing locations
- Suitable for: everyone!
One of the most exciting and awe-inspiring things to do in Invercargill is to see the Aurora Australia, also known as the Southern Lights. Thanks to Invercargill’s low light pollution and incredibly clear skies, it’s the perfect place to witness the effects of the solar winds hitting the Earth’s magnetic field.
The best time of year to view the Southern Lights is usually between April to September, so try and time your trip to Invercargill so you can see this breathtaking natural light phenomenon.
5. Classic Motorcycle Mecca
- Location: 25 Tay Street, Invercargill
- Suitable for: motorcycle enthusiasts and petrol heads
Invercargill just so happens to be home to a world class display of over 300 motorcycles, and according to the museum's director Jocelyn O'Donnell:
"Even if you’re not into motorbikes you can’t help but appreciate them."
At Classic Motorcycle Mecca you won't just see the largest display of classic motorcycles in New Zealand ranging more than a century – you'll also be impressed by the unique décor and design of the museum (even the toilets are a must-see!)
This attraction houses legends of the road from around the world, hidden gems, and quirky custom bikes that you won't see anywhere else. You'll be able to get up close in personal with some of the finest motorcycles in the world, and to get the full experience you can hear all the expert knowledge with an audio tour. Children's tickets are $20 and Adult's tickets are $35, but they also over senior, student and family discounts.
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We've put together the perfect companion for your great Kiwi road trip - the 12 Stains of Summer Stain guide. In the guide, we cover off all of the common summer mishaps from how to get tomato sauce out of the carpet, all the way to tanning lotion on the upholstery. You can grab the guide for free by clicking below.