Things to do in Invercargill New Zealand

Invercargill is located south of New Zealand and north of Stewart Island, which is home to the majestic Rakiura National Park.

Things to do in Invercargill New Zealand

Those of you traveling from Scotland will feel quite at home in this part of New Zealand as locals are proud of their Scottish heritage, and they even have a Scottish twang to their accents.

If you are looking to explore nearby cities, Invercargill New Zealand is just a couple of hours drive from Queenstown and Dunedin New Zealand.

Things to do in Invercargill New Zealand: Places of Interest

Queens Park

Queens Park, located between the Windsor and Avenal neighborhoods, is one of the most popular urban parks in Invercargill New Zealand.

Apart from being able to enjoy a multitude of recreational activities, the park is home to a golf course, an art gallery museum, an observatory and a botanical Garden.

Thomsons Bush

The Thomsons Bush is an excellent park home to a mile of walking paths, and open areas where you can enjoy recreational activities.

Thomsons Bush, located in the Waikiwi neighborhood, is actually a protected native forest, and as you walk along the paths, you can marvel at the lush forest.

Elizabeth Park

If you are traveling with your pet, Elizabeth Park is one of the few pet-friendly parks where dogs can roam freely.

Also, if you are planning in renting bikes, Elizabeth Park (located on Rockdale neighborhood) has a cool BMX circuit.

Splash Palace Water Park

If you are traveling with the family, one of the most popular things to do in Invercargill with kids it’s to visit Splash Palace.

The water park is located on Elles Road (adjacent Rugby Park), and features water areas for the little ones, water slides and a spa pool for adults to relax.

Oreti Beach

If you are traveling to Invercargill New Zealand, you can spend some time at the Oreti Beach, which is located 5 miles west of Invercargill's city center.

Things to do in Invercargill New Zealand: Fun Day Trips

Stewart Island

If you love hiking and would like to explore New Zealand’s great outdoors, a day trip to Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island should be high on your agenda.

You can get to Steward Island by plane but the ferry ride is one of the most fun ways to get there.

To reach Stewart Island, you need to get to the seaport town of Bluff, which is just 12 miles south of Invercargill New Zealand along the Bluff Highway (the drive takes less than 30 minutes).

The ferry service is between Bluff town and Oban village (Steward Island) and the trip takes around 60 minutes (ticket prices hover around $60 one way).

The natural scenery at the Rakiura National Park is quite breathtaking and once you get here, you can expect lush forest with plenty of fauna to observe, as well as many trails to hike along.

Rakiura National Park can be enjoyed on a day trip, but if you wish to make it a two or three day affair, there is a variety of accommodations around the Oban village to suit all budgets.

Fiordland National Park

Another day trip worth adding to your Invercargill itinerary, it’s a visit to Fiordland National Park.

This park is located northwest of Invercargill’s city center and the overall driving time to reach the park is 3 hours.

To gain access to the park, you need to take the 'Te Anau Mossburn Highway' towards Te Anau town (around 2 hours drive).

From there, you need to take the 'Te Anau Milford Highway' towards Milford Sound (a further 90 minute drive).

Once you get to Fiordland Park, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking and canoeing.

Milford Sound

Apart from exploring Fiordland Park, don’t forget to visit Milford Sound for breathtaking views of cliffs and waterfalls.

Milford Sound features an underwater observatory where you can marvel at black coral,and if you want to get better views of Milford Sound, there are many tour companies offering boat tours of Milford Sound, departing from the Milford Sound Visitors' Centre.

Things to do in Invercargill New Zealand: Shopping

For retail shopping, the Glengarry neighborhood is home to the 'Challenge Glengarry' and Make ‘n’ Bake shopping centers (both of these shopping centers are located near the Stadium Southland).

Another popular shopping center it’s the 'A Streak A' head, which is located in the Gladstone neighborhood, near Queens Park.

For boutique shopping, along Esk Street you can find many small stores and boutique shops with the usual popular designers.

Things to do in Invercargill New Zealand: Nightlife & Entertainment

The city center of Invercargill is the heart of the night scene in the city.

Along Dee Street, Esk Street and Tay Street is where you can find many restaurants, bars and the popular Tillermans bar and nightclub.

Things to do in Invercargill New Zealand: Events & Festivals

Invercargill Gypsy Fair

The Invercargill Gypsy Fair, held in April at Queens Park, is an annual event where you can enjoy a fair gypsy style. At the fair you can enjoy tarot reading, tattooing, live entertainment and more.

Dunkley's New Zealand Craft Show

The Dunkley's New Zealand Craft Show, held in September at the Stadium Southland, is one of the most popular craft events in New Zealand. At the event you can see the country’s best craftsmen and their works.

Teretonga Race Track

If you are a car racing enthusiast, Teretonga Race Track (located along Sandy Point Road) features various types of monthly racing events such as Drifting and Clubsport events. 

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