Experience Invercargill in Style
You’ve hit the bottom of the South Island – a place that a rare amount of tourists ever get to see, more for the lack of time rather than the lack of adventures. If you’ve managed to make your way to the southernmost city in New Zealand, then you are in for a treat. Invercargill might be off the main tourist trail, but that makes the experiences here all the more exclusive. It’s the base for scenic flights to New Zealand’s southernmost national park on Stewart Island, home to some of the world’s largest collections of vintage vehicles, and hosts an array of talented artisans for some unique Southern “foodie” experiences. As for the accommodation, sure, it’s limited when it comes to luxury, but that makes it all the more special. We’ll guide you through all the highlights in this luxury guide to Invercargill.
5 Luxury Activities in Invercargill
- Embark on a scenic flight and hiking expedition to Stewart Island
- Indulge in the cuisine of the south at one of the fine dining restaurants
- See one of the largest private collections of vehicles at Bill Richardson Transport World
- Take part in a bespoke chocolate-making class
- Unleash at the heavy machinery playground of Dig This!
For more information on each activity, head to 5 Luxury Activities in Invercargill.
Luxury Activities in Invercargill
Looking for that special way to celebrate your time in the south? Here are just a couple of ideas you might like.
Invercargill is home to a few surprises, one of which is the heavy machinery playground of Dig This! Get behind the controls of excavators, bulldozers and skid steers to create giant pits, play “bucket basketball”, stack 910kg (2,000lbs) tyres, smash things and generally cause havoc! Each “ride” lasts for about one hour, with options for all ages. All in all, it’s the perfect way to blow off some steam!
Get off the beaten track and enjoy a scenic flight to Stewart Island landing on one of the island’s remote beaches. This is the ultimate multi-day hiking experience with Headfirst Travel, with luxurious offerings included, starting and ending in Invercargill. Fly from Invercargill to Stewart Island, taking in the views of what feels like the end of the earth. You’ll get the unique experience of a beach landing on Mason Bay before enjoying a short walk to the Mason Bay Hut with your guide. Look out for kiwi bird, who freely roam in this protected area, and sleep under the vivid starry displays of the southern skies. The next day, enjoy a hike through windswept forest and sand dunes on your way to Freshwater, where a water taxi will be waiting to get you to experience this magnificent island from the water. The night ends by staying in a private holiday home where you’ll be treated to fresh salmon for dinner. The next couple of days, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the bird sanctuary of Ulva Island, before enjoying a scenic flight back to Invercargill.
For more activity ideas and inspiration, check out 10 Amazing Things to Do in Invercargill.
Fine Dining in Invercargill
Southland has its own specialities when it comes to cuisine, from fresh Bluff Oysters to Fiordland venison to the much-loved Southland Cheese Roll. Here are some of Invercargill’s most prestigious restaurants to experience the flavours of the south.
Elegance at 148 on Elles is Invercargill’s fine dining establishment. Nothing is done in halves here, from the freshly-baked garlic bread to the fresh Bluff Oysters prepared in three ways. The menu here is extensive with flavourful seafood dishes, wild venison dishes and vegetarian options. The cosy restaurant makes the ideal place for a romantic dinner.
A more casual option, Buster Crabb on 326 Dee Street offers a distinctive focus of steak and the best of Southland. Choose your steak, accompaniments and how it’s cooked and leave the rest up to the chefs, or indulge in Southland specialities like Southland blue cod, sticky venison spare ribs, slow-roasted lamb and more. Tip: Leave plenty of room, as the portions are “catered to the Southland appetite”.
All-weather Luxury Activities in Invercargill
Like much of New Zealand, the weather isn’t always “on” in Invercargill. Luckily, the city is home to a wealth of indoor attractions. The most luxurious of which, we’ll go through here.
Whether you’re a petrolhead or not, it’s hard to not be impressed by Bill Richardson Transport World. This is a 15,000sqm (161,459sqft) complex celebrating all things “wheels”, from displays of impeccably-restored Ford Letter Cars to the only working Dodge RX70 Airflow in the world. You can spend hours in Transport World browsing the vintage vehicles and petrol pumps, but the complex has a few other tricks up its sleeve, like the weird and wonderful World of Wearable Art exhibition, as well as family play areas to keep the little ones entertained. Complete the experience by dining at The Grille, which is an American-style diner, and even spend the night in Transport World’s luxury apartments, The Lodges.
For the foodie in you, be sure to try out some of the artisan chocolates at The Seriously Good Chocolate Company. While the cafe is a great place to relax and indulge in a gourmet hot chocolate, little people know that you can actually take a behind-the-scenes tour of their factory. Amplify the experience further with a bespoke chocolate-making class, exclusively for you and your family/group. Learn how to craft chocolate, with plenty of obligatory taste testing along the way.