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Invercargill is one of the world's southernmost cities, and the commercial centre of the Southland region. Invercargill Airport operates flights to Wellington and Christchurch, and is easily accessible from any point in Australasia. The airport is a gateway to Fiordland and Stewart Island.
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Best time to visit Invercargill
Invercargill experiences a mild climate. The hottest month is January, with the temperature rising above 20 degrees. Throughout the year Invercargill has frequent rainfall, and a few foggy days.
No matter what time of year you visit Invercargill, you can visit some of the beautiful surrounding attractions such as Oreti Beach, or travel further north to Fiordland. There is plenty to do indoors, with museums in town providing more information about the history of Southland.
Driving tips at IVC
Invercargill Airport is just seven minutes outside of the city centre. A rental car is the ultimate in convenience when travelling around this region. You can reach central Invercargill by taking Airport Avenue and Stead Street.
If you are planning to drive to any of the surrounding regions be sure to plan your route and check the weather conditions. Estimated driving time to both Dunedin and Queenstown is two and a half hours. In the winter months take additional care as there may be snow and ice on roads around the South Island.
Explore Invercargill and Southland in your hire car
Invercargill is not just the to gateway to Southland, but also Stewart Island and Fiordland. Fiordland is one of the Southern Hemisphere's great remaining wilderness areas, with World Heritage Status, and access to some of New Zealand's most iconic walks, the Kepler, Milford and Routeburn tracks.
Visit the Southland Museum and Art Gallery
This unique cultural venue is located in the largest pyramid to be found in the Southern Hemisphere. The 27 metre high structure is set in the beautiful gardens of Queen's Park, right in the middle of Invercargill. Inside there are displays of tuataras, New Zealand's unique living dinosaur. The Roaring Forties Gallery is a permanent exhibition which transports visitors through multi-media exhibits, hundreds of kilometres past Stewart Island to the remote sub-Antarctic islands.
Part of the world heritage site of Fiordland. While Milford Sound, further north, is considered number one of the must dos in New Zealand, Doubtful Sound is equally charming, being further south, and more remote. Where Milford can be heavily touristed in the peak season, you may only see only see scarce local fishing boats on Doubtful Sound. Real Journeys runs memorable overnight cruises on their ship, the Fiordland Voyager. There are comfortable en-suite cabins, and great value quad bunk rooms. The Voyager has a snug salon for dining. A tender or kayak excursion gets you off the boat and into the Sound for wildlife viewing.
Just over one hour's drive from Invercargill is the unique natural area of the Catlins. In this sparsely populated southern Eden, you can marvel at rugged coastlines, hidden lakes and podocarp forests. The far south latitude gives you long days in summer, perfect for exploring.