Invercargill is the hub of Southland, it is a great place to base your exploration of the wider area of Southland. Invercargill has a population of 50 000, so has lots of local amenities in the city. The city has wide streets, historic buildings, plenty of green space to explore, and cafes & restaurants to wile away the day.
Southland has iconic events not to be missed, the Bluff Seafood & Oyster Festival takes places annually it is a festival not to be missed by lovers of seafood, next year it is on 23rd May 2015 book early to not miss out. For the motor cyclist the Burt Munro Challenge is a week long affair starting Wednesday 26th November 2014, the "largest motorcycle rally in the Southern Hemisphere". Rooms are still available.
Invercargill has a regular Farmers Market every Sunday morning, held at the Scottish Hall in Esk St. Check out their Facebook page.
There are plenty of things to do in and around Invercargill & Southland. Whether it is fishing, cycling or walking there is a wide range of things to do in Southland. Go to Southland website for more information.
It is a short drive to Bluff (25 minutes) to take a photo at the Signpost, blow away the cobwebs at the top of the hill, giving a 360 degree vista of Southland & Stewart Island. If walking is your thing there are some flat & hilly walks to partake in, the native bush on the hill has is been extensively trapped for pests & birdlife is flourishing, and then there is the comings & goings of Foveaux Strait to watch. The maritime museum is also worth a visit.
Stewart Island can be reached by Ferry (1 hour from Bluff) or by plane (30 minutes from Invercargill), and is well worth a visit. Whether a day trip or spend a week it is a unique place. You can fish for local delicacy blue cod in the morning & eat it for dinner in the evening, go Kiwi spotting, visit Ulva Island a predator free bird sanctuary, or just enjoy the peace & quiet of the island.
The Southern Scenic route, is a drive of 610 km between Dunedin & Queenstown with Invercargill being an ideal stop along the way. In the Catlins there are dramatic coastlines with pristine beaches & rain forests, it is also the home of Yellow Eyed penguin, Hector's dolphin, seals & sea lions. Curio Bay is a must see for the 180 million year old fossilised forest on the beach.
Driving times Invercargill to:
Dunedin via State Highway 1 2.5 hours
Dunedin via Southern Scenic route 4 hours
Te Anau via State Highway 6 2 hours
Te Anau via Southern Scenic Route 3 hours
Milford Sound 3.5 hours
Queenstown 2 hours