Flights to Invercargill
Southland has a beauty and charm all its own. Discover rare wildlife, stupendous coastal scenery and a local passion for transport history.
Things to do in Invercargill and Southland
The main hub of Southland is Invercargill. The home of the World's Fastest Indian, Burt Munro, this city has a variety of transport attractions. You can devote a couple of days to visiting Transport World, Croydon Aircraft, Motorcycle Mecca, Thornbury Vintage and E Hayes Motorworks, where you'll see Burt's world-record breaking Indian Scout. Once you've had your fill of transport, go see the last of the dinosaurs - Southland Museum houses over 100 tuatara, native reptiles with a lineage that goes way back. In and around these attractions you can experience warm Southland hospitality. Locals are easily identified by their rolling 'r's, a nod to the Scottish heritage of the area.
The Catlins' scenery is enthralling - wild surf beaches, lush forests, lonely lighthouses, a petrified forest of ancient trees, waterfalls and dramatic rock formations.
While visiting Southland, seafood must be on your radar. The Bluff Oyster Festival in May showcases the best of local kaimoana (the Maori word for seafood). At other times, Stewart Island salmon, mussels, paua and blue cod are reliably on the menu. You should also be on the lookout for other local delicacies like the ubiquitous cheese roll, affectionately named sushi of the South. Toasted white bread wrapped around gooey cheese, it's a perfect accompaniment to soup on a chilly day. Another Southland specialty is freshly-cooked pikelets with jam and cream. It's the Scottish thing coming through again, we suspect.
From Invercargill there are two extraordinary nature experiences within easy reach. First up is Stewart Island, accessible by ferry from Bluff. Here you can go hiking or fishing in an environment that is mostly as its always been - untouched. This island is a twitchers paradise, so catching a bird-watching tour is a smart move.
Southland's other big nature adventure is the road journey from Invercargill to Dunedin, a strip of coast known as The Catlins. The scenery is enthralling - wild surf beaches, lush forests, lonely lighthouses, a petrified forest of ancient trees, waterfalls and dramatic rock formations. Wildlife encounters come with the territory. This coast is home to fur seals, yellow-eyed penguins, dolphins, elephant seals and many kinds of seabird. An iconic Catlins experience is a visit to the Lost Gypsy Gallery for curios and coffee.
Best time to go
As our most southern city, Invercargill has a naturally air-conditioned climate. However it's not a place of extremes - the average maximum in summer is 18°C, while in winter it's about 10°C. January is the wettest month; February and March are prime time; spring is lush - they even have a Spring Festival.
How much will it cost?
Not including air travel and hotels, you should allow about NZD $100 to $150 a day per person for food and entertainment.
There are no mandatory vaccinations required for visitors to New Zealand.
Auckland (AKL) to Invercargill (IVC)
Wellington (WLG) to Invercargill (IVC)
Christchurch (CHC) to Invercargill (IVC)
*Flight times are based on the fastest route available.
**Indirect flights may also be available for this route.