1.Check out the local art galleries
Invercargill city centre is home to a couple of fantastic art galleries which will give you something to do while the rain is pouring. The City Gallery is home to the Southland Art Society and holds regular exhibitions, competitions and workshops. Pop in to see the local artist’s work. Additionally, head to the Invercargill Public Art Gallery with a permanent collection of works from well-known New Zealand artists. Alongside paintings, you’re likely to see a number of carvings, ceramics, sculptures and mixed-media pieces.
Location: The City Gallery – 28 Don Street &Invercargill Public Art Gallery – 91 Mclvor Road.
2. Treat yourself to a Southland Cheese roll
Invercargill has a wealth of fantastic eateries where there should be one food on your “to-try” list if you’re a visitor: a Southland cheese roll. Most cafes will serve this speciality of the southern South Island, such as the Blue River Dairy – Sheep Milk Cafe known for its exceptional cheese tastings. If you have more of a sweet tooth, sit down for some artisan chocolate treats at Invercargill’s very own chocolate factory, Seriously Good Chocolate. Check out more food to try in15 Foods You Have to Try in New Zealand.
Location:Blue River Dairy – 111 Nith Street & Seriously Good Chocolate Cafe – 147 Spey Street.
3. Get sporty at ILT Stadium Southland
Get competitive with your mates or loved ones at the ILT Stadium. The stadium has seven wooden sprung multi-sport courts, four squash courts, 10 clipn’climb climbing walls, a normal climbing wall and a bubble ball courts. It’s also home to the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome, which is New Zealand’s only indoor velodrome. Call ahead to see if you can go for a ride.
Location: 1 Isabella Street
4. Check out vintage vehicles at Bill Richardson Transport World
Check out one of the largest collection of restored vintage vehicles of its kind at Bill Richardson Transport World. The indoor attraction showcases the Richardson family’s private collection of more than 170 trucks and vehicles from more than 50 different manufacturers. There’s also heritage memorabilia on display, as well as a World or Wearable Art (WOW) exhibition. After you’ve spent a couple of hours seeing everything there is to see, sit down to a nice hot drink at the American-style diner, the Grille Cafe.
Location: 491 Tay Street
5. See the World’s Fastest Indian at E Hayes and Sons Ltd
Another one for the petrolheads, this vintage vehicle collection is in the unusual location of the E Hayes and Sons Ltd hardware store. The hardware store has been serving Southland for more than 100 years and even has a few vintage relics to celebrate. Check out the original Burt Munro’s “World’s Fastest Indian” on display among other vintage motorworks.
Location: 168 Dee Street
6. Do a brewery tour at the Invercargill Brewery
[UPDATE: the Invercargill Brewery has closed] Sample brews from New Zealand’s southernmost brewery and learn how the good stuff is made at the Invercargill Brewery. Brewery tours take place at 1pm Monday to Friday, so don’t miss out on experience real New Zealand craft beer. Check out more activities like this in5 Damn Good Brewery Tours in New Zealand.
Location: 72 Leet Street
7. do indoor go-karting
Enjoy high-speed thrills on this drifting indoor go-karting track in Invercargill. The specially-designed track allows you to drift and overtake at many different points. Xtreme Karts is open Tuesday to Sunday. There is a minimum age requirement to drive at eight years old.
Location: 76 Annan Street
8. Play 10 Pin Bowling
Another fun indoor activity that you can rely on on a rainy day is Invercargill’s Super Bowl! The entertainment centre provides fun for all ages. You can easily spend the day here challenging each other, fuelled by the drinks, snacks and meals for sale, as well as the will to perfecting your aim!
Location: 105 Kelvin Street
9. Get wet and wild at Splash Palace
There’s fun for everyone at Invercargill’s indoor aquatic centre, Splash Palace. Choose to relax and unwind at the sauna, spa and cafe or jump on the exciting hydro slides for kids and kids-at-heart. Or, you know, you could always go for a swim in the pool.
Location: 56-58 Elles Road
10. Go shopping
There’s plenty of places to pick up souvenirs or get some retail therapy in Invercargill. The central business district and the Windsor Shopping Centre is packed with shops which will keep you out of the rain until you have to dart to the next shop.