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Invercargill City Guide

With a combination of cultural attractions, a rejuvenated city life and outstanding nature reserves and parks, Invercargill is certainly a city with a lot to offer.

Whether Invercargill is your intended destination or just a brief stopover on the way to your new home, we have compiled this guide to help you get your bearings on arrival. To obtain more details about the city check out the websites listed at the end of this profile.


Invercargill is the most south west city in New Zealand and one of the most southernest cities in the world. Invercargill has a population of 49,830 (2001).


Invercargill lies in the heart of the wide expanse of the Southland Plains on the Oreti or New River some 18 km north of Bluff, which is the southernmost town in the South Island. It sits amid rich farmland that is bordered by large areas of conservation land and marine reserves, including Fiordland National Park covering the south-west corner of the South Island.


Agriculture remains an industry vital to the prosperity of Invercargill. When refrigeration became available in the early 1880's, the frozen meat industry transformed the region. Although sheep are still the predominant stock farmed, there have been major increases in dairying, beef and deer farming. Diversification has also led to growth in horticulture, fishing, forestry, tourism and manufacturing. New Zealand's only aluminium smelter, which is a major contributor to Invercargill's economy, is at Tiwai Point near Bluff, and is powered by electricity from the vast underground power station at Lake Manapouri

Local Transport

The flatness and close proximity of facilities make walking and cycling an attractive option in Invercargill even though there is a wide bus network. While Invercargill offers all you would expect from a modern city, you can be assured of avoiding the traffic jams and delays now commonly experienced in other metropolitan areas.

Arts and Culture

Situated on the edge of Queens Park, the Southland Museum and Art Gallery building is the largest pyramid in the southern hemisphere. Inside there is 500 million years of Southland’s natural history and 800 years of its human history. Three art galleries feature changing displays of local, national and international art, from historical to contemporary

Lifestyle and Outdoor Recreation

Invercargill is favourably placed on the Southern Scenic Route and is the gateway to some of New Zealand's most beautiful scenery and destinations including the Southland heartland, Stewart Island, Fiordland and the Catlins. Explore the city and its many fine museums, art galleries and parks or take a short trip to one of the bush reserves, beaches or gardens on Invercargill's outskirts.


Invercargill offers a wide variety of schools, colleges and universities.  Invercargill's major tertiary education provider, the Southern Institute of Technology, is nationally renowned for its innovative Zero Fees Scheme.

Invercargill on the Net

Invercargill City Council

Invercargill Tourism


Average maximum temperature in summer

Average maximum temperature in winter

Bright sunshine hours per year

Mean annual rainfall

18.5 Degrees Celsius

9.5 Degrees Celsius


1111 mm


Invercargill time is GMT +12 Hours. From September to March one hour of daylight saving time applies.




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