Top 11 things to do in Invercargill

Queens Park

Gardens at Queen Park Reserve
Gardens at Queen Park Reserve

The most excellent reserve in the city centre is the Queens Park measuring 0.8 sq km, a botanical reserve famous for its beautiful rose gardens and the huge Steans Memorial Winter Garden. Other attractions here include a small wildlife park that has deer’s and wallabies, an aviary which is a house where birds are kept, and a challenging 18-hole golf course.

Southland Museum and Art Gallery

Tuatara at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery
Tuatara at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery

Located near the entrance to Queens Park, is the Southland Museum and Art Gallery. The Southland museum and art gallery is uniquely designed in the shape of  a pyramid structure. There are three art exhibition galleries containing exhibits of Invercargill’s human and natural history. The museum also features live tuatara where visitors can observe some of New Zealand’s “living fossils” up close. Beyond the “Roaring Forties” at the Subantarctic Islands Centre offers an introduction to New Zealand’s five isolated island reserves, which remain hundreds of kilometres to the south of Invercargill. The Invercargill i-SITE Visitor Centre and a café are situated in the museum entrance hall. For more information visit the Southland Museum and Art Gallery website.

Water Tower

Invercargill old red brick Water Tower
Invercargill old red brick Water Tower

Situated on Leet St, the Water Tower has recently been renovated allowing visitors to climb to the top offering a superb view of the city.
The Water Tower is a unique landmark of Invercargill. The high red brick Water Tower is 42-m (138-ft) high and was finished in 1889 for the Public Works Department.

Dee and Tay Streets

Invercargill’s early success resulted in the former formation of many well commercial buildings and churches on Dee and Tay Street (Invercargill’s main streets). One of the many historic buildings is the ex-Dee Street Hospital, the oldest public hospital in New Zealand, situated at the northern end of Dee Street. You will also find the old-fashioned former Porter’s Lodge, built in 1866 and presumed to be the oldest house still standing in Invercargill. Read More

Anderson Park and Art Gallery

Anderson Park Art Gallery and Gardens
Anderson Park Art Gallery and Gardens

Five km north of Invercargill City Centre, is a beautiful Georgian-style house built in 1925, former home of Sir Robert Anderson, set in 0.2 sq km of gardens and native bush, and accommodates a fine collection of New Zealand art.

Opening Hours
10.30am – 5.00pm daily
Closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens (next to the visitor centre situated in the Southland Museum and Art Gallery on Gala Street) features a variety of plants and diverse landscape. There is also a bird haven and an opportunity to see kangaroos and llamas. Make sure to visit the beautiful rose gardens – a great venue for a wedding.

Porpoise Bay

Invercargill Porpoise Bay
Invercargill Porpoise Bay

A 45 minutes drive from Invercargill to Porpoise Bay, a fantastic and beautiful place to visit, Porpoise Bay is famous for its rare Hector’s dolphins. Watch them surfing the waves, you may even get a chance to swim with them. Dolphins can usually be seen more around summer time. You can also see yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and sea lions here.

Nugget Point

Nugget Point is well-known for the lighthouse built in 1869. You can see all kinds of wildlife here including fur seals, sea lions, elephant seals, yellow-eyed penguins, a breeding colony of gannets, shags and sooty shearwaters.

For a good view of  Nugget Point and the lighthouses follow the  signs for the “Southern Scenic Route” and “Heritage Trails” from Balclutha to Invercargill through the Catlins area. It’s a good idea to have some binoculars handy.


Nugget Point
Kaimataitai Otago 9271
New Zealand

Slope Point

Views from Slope Point
Views from Slope Point

Slope Point is the southernmost point of the South Island, New Zealand. You can reach the Southernmost point by walking across private farmland – it takes around 20 minutes and the scenery is amazing. A signpost once you arrive shows the distance to the equator and the south pole.

The Seriously Good Chocolate Company

Located at 20 Windsor Street, Invercargill, you don’t want to miss out on a visit to the seriously Good Chocolate Company. Enjoy a great coffee inside the café (with complementary truffle) and an assortment of sweets. For more information visit the website.

Southland Aquatic Centre – Splash Palace

Splash Palace is great place to come for a fun family day out. There are so many things to do here including waterslides, jumping of the high board, relaxing in the swirl pool and there is even a cafe to relax and enjoy a hot coffee. Read More

2 thoughts on “Top 11 things to do in Invercargill”

  1. Hi there,

    Just having a look over your wonderful site – we have a French exchange student staying with us and I have found your site very helpful. However, you may like to know that the Seriously Good Chocolate Company have now moved. They are now situated at 147 Spey Street, Invercargill.


  2. you should really update your website, the water tower is now closed to the public, as is Anderson’s park art gallery, and the southland museum

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