Invercargill City Guide

Invercargill is New Zealand's most southerly city and sits at the heart of a region made prosperous by its lush farmlands and the huge Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter. Invercargill is proud of its friendly hospitality and enjoys a strong Scottish heritage. Southland's "garden city" got its title from its 1200 hectares of beautiful gardens and parks. Queens Park, at the heart of the city, is a favourite spot for a wander. The park is home to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, housed in a landmark pyramid building at the park's southern edge.

Invercargill's bustling port at Bluff, one of the country's leading export outlets, is famous for its succulent oysters, celebrated each April at the Bluff Oyster Festival. From Bluff, you can catch a ferry to the forest-clad Stewart Island, with its native wildlife and bushwalks. Invercargill is centrally located on the Southern Scenic Route, running from Dunedin down around the coast of Southland and up to the spectacular lakes of Fiordland.

Get Your Bearings

The Water Tower is an obvious landmark on Queens Drive, at just about the city's centre. Queens Park is nearby, and the Information Centre and Southland Museum and Art Gallery are adjacent. Restaurants, shopping and late night entertainment can be found in this area.

Things To Do

  • Anderson Park Art Gallery
    A 24-hectare estate and art gallery displaying art from New Zealand and the far south. The two-storey Georgian-style residence stands in Anderson Park.
  • Southland Museum and Tuatara House
    The landmark pyramid-shaped exterior houses live tuatara displays, sub-antarctic audiovisuals and natural history displays.
  • Bluff Maritime Museum
    Displays on Southland's maritime history.
  • Queens Park
    An 80 hectare parkland spread that features a botanical reserve, rose glade, winter garden, wildlife sanctuary and aviary.
  • Southland Aquatic Centre
    Incorporating an Olympic-sized pool, wave action pool, water slide and spa and steam room.
  • Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter
    Guided tours of this aluminium smelter from 10pm weekdays. Bookings are essential. A minimum age of 12 and special clothing requirements apply.
  • Awarua Wetlands
    A 14,000 hectare scientific reserve incorporating a seaward moss and toetoe conservation area. Waituna Lagoon and Awarua Bay are an important resting and feeding site for migratory birds.
  • Stewart Island
    New Zealand's third and smallest island, remote Stewart Island is a haven for native flora and fauna, and a paradise for walkers.
  • The Catlins
    This region is famous for its natural beauty and abundant wildlife, including Hector's dolphins, Hooker's sea lions, fur seals, yellow-eyed penguins and other native birds.


Invercargill has four 18-hole courses within minutes of the city's centre, including the Invercargill Golf Club, rated as New Zealand's fifth best green. Another option is the nine-hole Bluff Club. During the long summer evenings, greens are usually open until 10pm.
  • Bluff Golf Club
    Nine-hole links course with views over the coastline and the Mokomoko Inlet.
  • Green Acres
    All-weather floodlit public driving range.
  • Invercargill Golf Club
    Rated as New Zealand's fifth best course. Carts and a pro shop are available.
  • Queens Park Golf Club 
  • Southland Golf Club 

Historic Buildings

Invercargill boasts some fine buildings, many of them dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Some of the city's best examples include:
  • Water Tower
    A 42.5 metre-high landmark Romanesque tower built in 1889.
  • Troopers' Memorial
    A memorial to the fallen soldiers from the Boer War completed in 1908. It has Aberdeen granite columns, a clock and a lone trooper made of Italian marble.
  • Former Porter's Lodge
    A quaint cottage believed to be the oldest house still standing in Invercargill, built circa 1866.
  • Civic Theatre
    Built in 1906 in the English Renaissance style, the complex includes a 1050-seat theatre, concert hall and council offices.
  • Anderson Park
    The former home of Sir Robert Anderson and now an art gallery specialising in New Zealand art.
  • First Presbyterian Church
    Built in 1915 in Italian Romanesque style, the church features an unusual square tower, arched openings and elaborate polychrome brick friezes and motifs.
  • St Mary's Basilica, Tyne Street
    A Renaissance-style church completed in 1905.

Business Services

Business Overview
Invercargill is a service and processing centre for the Southland region's agriculture and forestry industries, fishing and tourism. Coal mining, boat building, engineering and the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter are also significant industries.

Meeting Options
The largest range and capacity is available at Ascot Park Hotel. Other smaller conference facilities are also available.

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