The Luxury Guide to Invercargill©
The Luxury Guide to Invercargill

The Luxury Travel Guide to Invercargill [2024]


Plan a Luxury Getaway to Invercargill

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 unique Southern “foodie” experiences.

As for the accommodation, sure, it’s limited when it comes to luxury, but that makes it all the more exclusive. We’ll guide you through all the highlights in this luxury travel guide to Invercargill.

Luxury Tours 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 the 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.

Dig This Invercargill

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! Find out more about Dig This on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Flight and Coast-to-Coast Hike on Stewart Island

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 Stewart Island Flights, 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. 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. You’ll reach Golden Bay and Oban where you’re free to enjoy some of the 6 Best Luxury Experiences on Stewart Island. Note that the hike is not guided (but tracks are well marked).

For more activity ideas and inspiration, check out 10 Amazing Things to Do in Invercargill.

The Luxury Travel Guide to Invercargill© Miles Holden - Tourism New Zealand

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 (which you can learn more about in the 25 Foods You Have to Try in New Zealand). 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 on 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.

Bill Richardson Transport World

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.

The Seriously Good Chocolate Company

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.

Need more ideas for things to do? Check out the 15 Invercargill Must-Dos and 16 Things to Do in Invercargill on a Rainy Day.

More About Invercargill

For more ways to enjoy Invercargill that’s not exclusively under the “luxury” tag, check out the following experiences:

That’s it for the luxury travel guide to Invercargill. Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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