Hotels in Invercargill, New Zealand
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Invercargill, New Zealand: the City of Water and Light
Often called the capital of Southland, Invercargill is a friendly city, with wide streets lined by handsome buildings, a beach made famous by the silver screen, and one of the finest urban parks on the island. As New Zealand’s southernmost and westernmost city, Invercargill offers everyone the luxury of long daylight hours, which are all too easily whiled away in one of its beachy cafés or top-notch museums. Accommodations in Invercargill range from laid-back motor lodges and holiday parks to luxurious hotels and apartments.
Cars, bikes, and things that go…
Hundreds of travellers come to Invercargill every year to see “the World’s Fastest Indian,” the modified motorbike with which Burt Munro once set the incredible, still-standing land speed record of 183.58 miles per hour. The legendary bike is on display at E. Hayes and Sons Motorworks. One of the largest independently-owned hardware stores in New Zealand, E. Hayes and Sons Motorworks also houses an impressive collection of classic and modern motorcycles, machinery, and motoring memorabilia. Motorcycle enthusiasts can also find over 300 classic rides at Motorcycle Mecca, part of Bill Richardson Transport World. Proud owner of the largest private automotive collection on the planet, this family friendly museum features about 300 vehicles, from rare classic cars to tractors and farm machinery, as well as an extensive collection of petrol pumps. For some, however, the museum’s greatest attraction is its newest: Dig This, New Zealand’s first heavy equipment playground, is essentially a massive sandbox in which both the young and old can operate bulldozers, excavators, and skid steers.
A walk in the park…to a very big pyramid
A jewel in the heart of the city, Queen’s Park is a New Zealand Garden of National Significance, known for its gracious beech trees, stunning roses, and wide-ranging collection of native plants. The 80-hectare park also offers an 18-hole golf course, 3.4-kilometre fitness trail, and two fine cafes, as well as many varieties of family fun: highlights include the stumpery, aviary, and a large playground with several water features. By far the most dramatic landmark in Queen’s Park, however, is the Southland Museum and Art Gallery; the building, which happens to be the biggest pyramid in the Southern Hemisphere, soars 427 metres into the sky, and contains a very fine collection of art and historical artefacts. One of the museum’s most popular exhibitions is the Tuatarium; carefully designed to replicate the rare reptile’s natural habitat, the enclosure is home to over 100 live tuataras, including the world-famous Henry, who is 110 years old and counting.
A beach you’ll want to go back to…
Just ten clicks west of Invercargill, travellers will find Oreti Beach, erstwhile proving ground for the “World’s Fastest Indian” and a key location for the 2005 film of the same name. Oreti Beach and its southernmost tip, Sandy Point, is popular among surfers, swimmers, beachcombers, and mountain bikers. One of the best ways to experience this beautiful area, any kiwi will tell you, is to rent a bach instead of a hotel room. Though modern baches can be quite luxurious, the traditionally small and modestly furnished holiday homes have come to symbolize New Zealand’s relaxed, “beach holiday” lifestyle. A bach is also an excellent base for exploring the Waituna Lagoon; about 40 kilometres from Invercargill, the “wetland of international significance" is a piece of heaven on earth for birdwatchers. Seventy-six avian species have been spotted here, and the flat terrain is ideal for long rambles with binoculars. Lake Waituna is also famous among fly fishermen, who come in pursuit of the sea-run brown trout.
Savour the flavours of Southland…
Invercargill offers several enticing fine dining restaurants and a very popular tapas bar; however, some of the city’s favourite eateries are laid-back cafes and time-honoured bakeries. Here hungry travellers can happily join the locals in enjoying one of Southland’s most beloved comfort foods: cheese rolls. Affectionately called the “sushi of the south,” this Southland speciality consists of a cheese filling spread on white bread which is then rolled up and toasted under a grill. The best cheese rolls in Southland, some say, can be found at the Blue River Dairy’s Sheep Milk Café, which also serves Sheep Milk Coffee. Foodies with a sweet tooth, however, may be most interested in a behind-the-scenes tour of Invercargill’s Seriously Good Chocolate factory, which is well known for its gourmet truffles infused with unique New Zealand ingredients such as kiwi and Speight’s Ale. And speaking of beer, the Invercargill Brewery is well worth a stop; the award-winning craft brewery offers “walk-in” tours complete with samples of its original line-up.
Price rangefrom €35to €112
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