2010-10-25 18:50


Getting there
Invercargill and the Southland region are well served with direct daily flights to and from Christchurch and Wellington, and from there with all cities and major towns around the country. Invercargill Airport is well located only a five-minute drive from the central city.

Invercargill is easily accessed by major highways from most major cities in the South Island. The region is well-known for its extensive network of open roads and is a treat for drivers with some fantastic scenery to admire along the way.

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Rugby World Cup Stadium
Rugby Park

Famous sons
Junior Malili “Mils” Muliaina, All Black Fullback/Centre 2003 – present
Anton Oliver, All Black Hooker 1996 - 2007

Invercargill (Waihopai in Maori) is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. It is the commercial centre of the Southland region. It lies in the heart of the wide expanse of the Southland Plains on the Oreti or New River some 18 km north of Bluff, which is the southernmost town in the South Island. It sits amid rich farmland that is bordered by large areas of conservation land and marine reserves, including Fiordland National Park covering the south-west corner of the South Island.

Southland was a scene of early extended contact between Europeans and Maori, in this case sealers and whalers and missionaries - Wohlers at Ruapuke. From 1848, Otago, of which Southland was itself part, was the subject of planned settlement by the Free Church, an offshoot of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Settlement broadened with the discovery of gold in Central Otago in the 1860s, and even today, traces of Scottish speech persist in Southland voices, with R often pronounced with a rolling burr.

Also reminiscent of Invercargill’s past, is the distinctive architecture of churches and buildings, still intact. They include Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco and others.

From its inception, Invercargill was a service centre to what became a flourishing farming community. With grit, determination and a strong sense of southern identity, Invercargill emerged out of isolated bush and swamp to prosperity.

This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and there are many drives, walks and activities that show off this magnificent area. Some highlights include the Catlins Highway section of the Southern Scenic Route, which takes in the Catlins coastline and large tracts of native forest. Attractions include beaches, waterfalls and caves, wildlife viewing and the fossil forest at Curio Bay.

There are also the Clifden Caves, Croydon Bush, Dolamore Park, Curio Bay and the Taka Ra Haka Conservation Park to keep visitors occupied.

Invercargill and its surrounding region Southland  are keen sports fans and participants, and they are known around the country. Invercargill people have always traditionally got behind the local sports sides. The Southern Steel netball team won seven National titles from 1999–2004, 2007, while the local rugby team the Southland Stags held the Ranfurly Shield  from October 22, 2009 to October 9, 2010 and have made the NPC Semi Finals for the past three years. Southland also has one of the highest percentages of sports participants in the country, with codes such as Rugby Union, Netball, Basketball, Cricket and Hockey being popular.

Esk Street in Invercargill. (Tourist board)


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