Invercargill is in an enviable position, located within easy driving distance to all the southern centres. In just 2 ½ hours you can be in Dunedin or Queenstown, or in only 2 hours in Te Anau. It takes only 1 hour to reach the Catlins, forty minutes to Riverton and half an hour to Bluff. Stewart Island is easily reached by ferry (1 hour from Bluff) or plane (20 minutes from Invercargill).
While in Southland why not visit other gardens in our region check out http://www.southlandgardens.co.nz .
Southland has many great walks talk to your hosts or visit http://www.doc.govt.nz
Invercargill is Southland’s major service centre with a variety of shops ranging from chain stores to small boutiques. Invercargill has many eating establishments which cater to all tastes. The museum and art gallery are home to the Roaring Forties exhibition and a ‘tuatarium’ containing several resident tuatara. Adjacent to the museum is the 200 acre Queens Park which is stunning at all times of the year. Feldwick gates have been the entrance to the park since the 1800's they are impressive.
A walk around the city’s historic buildings and churches is a must. In addition there are several easy walking tracks close to the city including the Waihopi walkway and Bushy Point reserve.
Invercargill is home to Bill Richardson's Transport Museum one of the largest private collection of its type in the world. You need to visit its amazing. Great coffee at the Grille Cafe.
And dont forget to visit the local hardware shop where Burt Munroes bike can be seen plus lots of other old motorbikes and cars are to be seen.
One of the oldest towns in New Zealand, Riverton’s microclimate earned it the nickname ‘the Riviera of the South’. Previously a booming whaling town Riverton is now a seaside village with lovely beaches and picturesque cribs. Visit the new Te Hikoi museum to learn more about the history of Southern New Zealand or the visit the eclectic mix of shops on the main street and enjoy fresh fish and chips on the beach. The Black Maria now sits outside the muesum. An old locomotive from Moores mill restored to its former glory.
The Catlins is renowned for its awe-inspiring scenery, spectacular waterfalls, craggy headlands, untouched rainforests and stunning beaches. New Zealand wildlife such as yellow-eyed penguins, Hectors dolphins, seals and sea lions can easily be seen around the coast throughout most of the year. Other things of interest include historic lighthouses, the Cathedral Caves and the 180 million year old petrified forest at Curio Bay.
This small township on the edge of the impressive Lake Te Anau it is the gateway to Fiordland and Manapouri. To truly appreciate the stunning beauty of this area a trip on a helicopter, fixed wing plane or launch cruises is highly recommended. In Te Anau visit the Wildlife Bird Reserve where several rare New Zealand birds live. Te Anau boasts several restaurants and cafes as well as the Fiordland cinema.
The smallest of New Zealand’s main island is a well kept secret. Stewart Island or Rakiura is the ultimate eco-tourism destination with the opportunity to see kiwi, weka, and penguins in their own environment. Much of the island is National Park with Oban being the only township. Visit the most southern lighthouse or stroll along the many day walks that are easily accessible from Oban. To experience New Zealand forest as it once was visit Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary and see rare native birds such as saddlebacks, kakariki, kiwi, kaka as well as the more common birds such as robins, fantails and tui.
This small fishing village is the southern most township in New Zealand. Make sure you visit the fascinating maritime museum adjacent to the wharves. Mingle with local and international seafood lovers at the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival held each autumn. This event provides the perfect excuse to sample locally caught oysters, crayfish, blue cod, paua and other delicacies.
A great way to see Southland is to take a tour with Karen http://www.boutiquedaytours.nz
The Not so Secret Garden Tour: one and two day options
Wings Whiskey and Automobiles : which travels from Invercargill to Gore and Mandeville
The Great Southern Food Safari, a whole day of eating all our great southern food, we travel from Invercargill to Bluff back to the City, out to Riverton and return.
The first two tours offer pick up and return from Invercargill from either commercial accommodation, Isite Visitor Centre or Bill Richardson Truck Museum in Invercargill.
A fourth trip: The Big Boy’s Tour is very close to its final format