Top highlights Invercargill Southland may be a surprising title for some. Invercargill does tendsto be under rated by international travellers when planning a New Zealand trip. But there is lot to love about this place. One reason for that could be that Invercargill sits on the southern most tip of New Zealand or perhaps nature lovers see it as a ‘jumping board’ to Stewart Island. I suspect it’s also to do with the people. If you ask for their opinion, you’ll get an honest answer. If you’re lucky enough to make friends with a Southerner, you can be pretty sure it will be for life!
The other day I visited Invercargill again. It’s hard to believe how many ‘treasures’ this place can now call its own. It has to be the ‘big southern secret’. Here are some pretty compelling arguments as to why Invercargill travel should be on your to-do list.
Bill Richardson’s Transport World‘ is an absolute must-do. This massive complex has the largest private collection of its type in the world! And if you’re really not that interested in cars, there are plenty of other attractions in this massive complex you’re bound to love. There are over 300 vehicles, an awesome wearable arts collection and children’s play zones complete with a Lego room. Plus The Grille Cafe and themed bathrooms are fast becoming just as famous as the actual vehicles.
But wait folks, there’s more and this time, its the two-wheel variety. Another part of Bill Richardson’s is the ‘Classic Motorcycle Mecca‘ that is located at 25 Tay Street, Invercargill. The Classic Motorcyble Mecca is widely regarded as a world class display, with a collection of over 300 motorcycles and motorcycle related artwork from around the world. It is situated in two newly restored buildings within central CBD in Invercargill. Here you’ll find brands such as AJS, Ariel, Britten, Brough Superior, Harley Davidson, Henderson, Indian, Matchless and Rudge as well as little-known brands such as Schwinn and Zundapp. Located at Open from 10.00am – 5.00pm daily.
Now for something completely different – ‘Dig This Invercargill‘. This is New Zealand’s very first heavy machinery playground. Believe me, this sort of attraction is really quite ground-breaking for Invercargill. There is only one other place in the world where you can do this and that is Las Vegas, USA. People can live out their fantasies driving diggers, excavators, skid steers and bulldozers. How cool is that! Just push and pull your way in an adult- sized sandpit! This is opening on 2 October 2017 and just in time for the summer season.
For some more nature focused visitors the Southland Museum is a great place to be. Its the ideal attraction for families, especially if the weather is being a little temperamental. The Southland museum cares for over 100 tuatara, from new born babies to teenagers. By the way, this is where New Zealand’s world famous father and grand dad ‘Henry’ lives. Dear old Henry is over 110 years old and a gorgeous looking chap.
The Tuatarium is proclaimed to be one of the world’s best enclosures, where you can see live tuatara thriving in an environment that mimics their natural habitat. Being a much warmer environment than other outdoor enclosures, especially in the winter months, you are more likely to see a live tuatara here. Tuatara are cold-blooded and more active in warmer habitats. Tuatara can also be viewed outside museum hours through the windows on the north side of the pyramid.
On some occasions this week, I’ve been to The Batch Cafe twice a day. It’s a wonderful place, with stunning food, friendly staff and beautiful coffee. If chocolate berry brownies or sticky lemon slices are you’re thing, you’ll love it here. All the food is made on site by great cooks and bakers.
There’s no artificial flavouring here folks – health and organic is the way to go! I was up ready for work at 7.30am every morning and always started the day with eggs benedict.
The Industry Cafe is the sister cafe to The Batch Cafe. Its interior has a totally different feel. Its a large large, beautiful space with modern decor and a relaxed atmosphere. Like The Batch, the food is made from scratch and of course, the coffee sublime.
The Buster Crabb operates from the Dee Street heritage building which has been re-modelled. The portion sizes are generous and the atmosphere really great for everyone. I would happily bring my family here.
And that’s not all the Top Highlights Invercargill Southland. Wait until you see the surrounding scenic views of of Oreti Beach, to the native wonders of Waituna Wetlands and Omaui, or the boardwalk on the estuary and heritage wharfs!