Invercargill is the largest, farthest south town in New Zealand. The only town farther south is Bluff, a 30 minute drive south and there is not much there. The only reason to be a tourist and come here would be to catch a ferry ride to Stewart Island, which I heard was actually kind of amazing and people seeing kiwi birds in the wild. I had seen kiwi’s already in animal sancuaries and birds aren’t really my thing in general and when doing the math, didn’t really feel worth the expense. Sometimes I regret traveling all this way and not doing stuff like that, but for this I don’t.
I stayed at the Tuatara Lodge which is very central to town and it was pretty good. Huge kitchen and eating area and two great lounges. Parking is very limited and the town is actually kind of big so you’ll most likely be needed the bus at some point. I drove so I can’t say much on it.
I stayed in the area for 2 full days and that was 1.5 days too much. No regrets, as I rarely regret going and staying anywhere and try to only see my expirences and use them for future use, but if I had to do it again, I would have stayed in Dunedin longer. Of course I don’t regret going at all, as I got to expirence the Catlins drive back, which I loved.
My first stop was the information centre which is located at the Southland Museum in Queens Park. I quite enjoyed the museum. It covered a lot of different topics, both the people and animals from the area. One of its famous residents is Burt Munro in which the movie The Worlds Fastest Indian was based on. Burt used the beaches surrounding Invercargill, which are some of the flatest in the world, to race his motorcycle. I quiet enjoyed this movie and reccomend picking it up before you visit New Zealand, even if you don’t go to Invercargill. The Southland Museum has an exhibit dedicated to him.
I also drove down to Bluff and and went to Lands End and got some pictures of what does seem like the end of the world. It wasn’t raining on the day I was there, but it was very windy, some of the windest I have ever expirenced and slightly overcast, so I couldn’t see Stewart Island.
Other then that, there wasn’t much to do in the area. I spent some time in the library next door to the hostel and time at some of the various cafes along Tay Street and just enjoyed my time back in New Zealand.
Moral: Traveling is about seeing new places, whether it’s somewhere you’ll return one day, pass along the good word to or just see for a bit and move along. Invercargill is of the latter. A large town at the end of the world and not much else. Seemed a little depressing too. I wouldn’t reccomend a stop unless you are shacking up for the night on the way to or from somewhere else, even if it’s just doing the Catlins drive. But 2 days there was way too long.