1. Queens Park
Arguably one of the best city parks in New Zealand, Queens Park has a huge range of attractions to make each visit interesting. The park covers 200 acres (81ha) containing indoor gardens, outdoor gardens, open-air sculptures and more. Try and find the 10 Art Monuments, see native parrots at the Aviary, check out tropical plants in the Steans Centennial Winter Gardens, relax in the Japanese Gardens and smell the roses at the Jessie Calder Gardens. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Queens Park has something to offer time and time again.
Location: Invercargill City Centre
2. Omaui Reserve
Discover the largest tract of native forest in Invercargill at the Omaui Reserve. The reserve has historical significance as the first ever gateway to Invercargill. The area was originally settled by Maori then became a whaling base among other things. Learn about its fascinating history on the interpretation panels on display throughout the reserve’s walking trails. The reserve also has a picnic area and some excellent viewpoints. Omaui Reserve is a short drive out of town on your way to Bluff.
Location: 221 Mokomoko Road
3. Seaward Bush Reserve
Located on the east side of the city, the Seaward Bush Reserve is the regeneration of a native kamahi forest. The area was cleared before 1920 but has regrown to a fabulous forested area enjoyed through bush walks. The forest is home to the brown frog, also known as the whistling frog, as well as native slugs and snails. See what you discover on the short walk through the reserve or relax in the picnic area. Check out the walk here and others in 10 Best Walks in Invercargill.
Location: 166 Mason Road
4. Stead Street Reserve
This reserve by the coast holds interesting relics from Invercargill’s maritime and railroad history. Learn more through the interpretation panels and by seeing the steam train, ship and wharf displays. Stead Street Reserve also provides some great views over to Bluff, Sandy Point and Stewart Island. There’s plenty of opportunity for walking here with the Waihopai Walkway linking to the north of Stead Street and the Estuary Walkway linking to the south.
Location: On the west of Bond Street and the south side of Stead Street
5. Thomsons Bush
Another beautiful forest in Invercargill, Thomsons Bush has excellent examples of some of New Zealand’s largest tree species including kahikatea, matai and ribbonwood. There are some stunning walks to be done along the 3514m of walking trails throughout this reserve. You can also learn about the history of the area through the interpretation signs. There is also a fantastic children’s playground for the little ones.
Location: 584, 574 Queens Drive, 83 Gimblett Street