The Water Tower is one of the oldest landmarks in town. Due to its size, its also one of the largest and can be seen from most of the city. It can be viewed from the Southland Museum grounds.
It is possible to climb up the 40m structure to view the city from above, but this is only available on Sundays and holidays in the afternoon.
THE TROOPER'S MEMORIAL
We couldn't miss this memorial on our walk around Invercargill, as it was situated in the middle of a busy roundabout.
It is a very impressive looking memorial, built out of granite, it also has a clock, and then a lone trooper which is made out of marble, stands a -top. It was built in memory of those who lost their lives in the Boer war.
Evidently, there has been much controversy over the site, people think it should have been situated in a less busy situation, may be a good point!
- Historical Travel
The Civic Theatre Complex is another building in Invercargill built in English Renaissance style. The Theatre is over 100years old, and is one of Invercargill’s landmark buildings and is still in use today.
It was originally the Invercargill Town Hall and was opened in 1906. The Civic Theatre Complex as it is now known, was extensively renovated and officially reopened in April 2005. Originally built as municipal offices with lecture hall and theatre, connected by the dress circle staircase, the offices and hall have been transformed into function rooms at the front of the Theatre, but the back of house had not been touched.
When restoring, special features were not destroyed, so the Theatre still has Edwardian decor style surroundings of gold plasterwork and deep red carpets, plus state of the art performing art facilities.
The auditorium comfortably seats 1015 and each seat has individual heating and air-conditioning vents located in the floor beneath, how nice in this cold area, it would stop frozen feet!
The complex is popular for a range of activities including productions, ballet, opera, drama, concerts, and much, much more!
So glad it was restored, as it is another lovely building in Invercargill!
- Historical Travel
- Theater Travel
THE VICTORIA RAILWAY HOTEL
Built in 1896, the Victoria Railway Hotel was built to serve train travelers to the region. This is an impressive looking Hotel, with lovely architecture. In 1907 the hotel was expanded with it's first major upgrade to cater for increased demand. In 2003, the Hotel was closed for restoration back to its former glory.
Accommodation is available with modern facilities, and the Restaurant has a good array of meals, but don't expect cheap prices!
Enjoy stepping back in time in this beautiful Hotel!
- Historical Travel
Heritage walk around Invercargill
The heritage walk is worth doing as there are lots of old beautiful buildings here.
You can pick up a brochure, which includes a map and information on the sights, at the Information Centre, located in the Southland Museum, gala street, Invercargill.
Open 8 - 5 daily.
If you view everything on the brochure, then it would take a half day getting around in a car, and stopping at the sights as well as doing some walking.
The Heritage Trail highlights Invercargill's wide variety of historic architectural style that makes the city unique. The prosperity of the 1880's and 1890's is evident in the wealth of quality Victorian buildings and examples of Edwardian architecture. The large number of Art Deco style buildings indicates the Depression of the 1930's, while the wool boom in the 1950's is evident by buildings in the style of the modernist movement.
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
St Mary's Basilica on Heritage Walk
The Heritage walk brochure I picked up from the Information centre was a good way to learn and see the sights of Invercargill heritage sights.
One of them was the beautiful St Mary's Roman Catholic Basilica which was built in the renaissance style in 1905.
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
QUEEN'S PARK AVIARIES & ANIMAL RESERVE
The Animal Reserve locted at the park is a good area for children. They can walk through and see the animals at close range. They are mainly domestic animals like Chickens, Guinea pigs, Rabbits [Enderby Island Rabbits], Pigs, Wallabies, Goats, Alpaca and more.
The walk through part of the reserve is open daily from 8.30am to 4.30pm. However you can see many of the animals from outside the walk through area at all times. They ask you not to feed the animals.
What we liked, was the Aviary, because here was our chance to view the New Zealand birds that we hadn't been able to spot in the wild.
We walked through a large domed aviary with doves, budgerigars, canaries and cockatiels.
We saw the South Island kaka and the cheeky Kea, and the rarest waterfowl in the world, the Campbell Island Teal and the Antipodes Island Parakeet.
OPEN 8am until dusk.
The walk-through flight closes at 4.30pm daily.
ADMISSION IS FREE
You are asked not to feed the birds.
- School Holidays
- Family Travel
Who is Henry, you may ask?
Henry is a live Tuatara that lives in an outdoor "Tuatarium" at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery. The Museum received a large male Tuatara transferred from a zoo in 1961 named George, then a mate named Stephanie. George died in 1971 and was replaced with Henry who also came from Stephens Island.
Stephanie died in 1980 during excessively cold weather and was replaced by Mildred later the some year. Lucy and Albert arrived in 1982 and the first successful breeding resulted after improvements to climate controls within the enclosure.
In 1991 the Museum received a colony of one year old Tuatara from North Brothers Island in Cook Strait, a separate rare and endangered species with only an estimated 400 surviving.
Once they breed this endangered species, their offspring are planned to be released back to restore two new island populations.
The Southland Museum and Art Gallery is the world’s leading captive centre for Tuatara starting with its first breeding success in 1984.
- Museum Visits
Southland Museum and Art Gallery
This Museum is situated on the edge of Queens park.
You could not possibly miss it as it is a distinctive pyramid shaped building. We went and had a look as admission was FREE! There was quite a wide range of exhibits and activities. Of interest, was the Maori gallery, there was a Roaring 40's sub-Antarctic experience, Victorian-era rooms and Southland's natural history and fossil record.
Touring exhibitions can be seen here.
The Burt Munro exhibit is a tribute to a Southern legend and land speed record holder.
The art galleries host a range of exhibits from national artists, as well as a community gallery which showcases local talent.
Admission to the Museum is FREE. A donation is appreciated.
The Museum is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday. (Every day except Christmas dAY)
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
Queens Park is beautiful. Here I saw the most beautiful deep Red Hydrangeas, a colour I hadn't seen before!
This big garden had plenty of interest for me to look at. Of interest, was the New Zealand natives section, which was a collection of native trees, shrubs and alpine plants.
Another different garden, suited to this colder climate was the Sub-Antarctic Garden. This garden included a rocky "mountain" and boardwalk throughout. The garden has been faced south to try to simulate the cold, wet and windswept climate found on the Sub-Antarctic Islands.
The Heath garden was another of interest, as where I come from, it is much too hot for Heath to grow! These are such pretty little shrubs!
The Rose garden, and a good selection of modern roses with some 1800 bush roses and 120 climbers, how I would love to be there in peak flowering time, it must be a sight! Apart from the construction of the brick pergolas in 1988 and some new plantings of roses, the garden has remained virtually unaltered since 1917.
One of my favorites, the rhododendron dell, the Azalea's, both do so well in this climate, and the formal bog, plenty of ideas for expanding the home garden!
There is a Japanese garden, Invercargill's sister City is Kumagaya in Japan.
The list goes on, there was so much to see here, you really need a couple of hours. Being a gardener, I really thought this was an excellent garden!
The nearest car park is located at the Queens Drive entrance to Queens Park and the closest toilet is in the Children’s playground.
This is not as gruesome as it sounds, the reclaimed land has been turned into a very pleasant area to walk and see the tidal estuary birds. In fact the area back in the 19th century and early 20th century was Invercargill's port and the water was used for recreational swimming by the public.
The track now extends itself in full to around 4kms, but you can join and leave at various points. The area has a number of information panels explaining the history and features of the track.
Surprisingly good and right in town.
This area contains a pleasant 2.4km (40 mins) walk through bush and some of the most unusual, even bizzare shaped trees you will come across.
The forest is based on sand dunes and is predominately Totara trees set amongst lush bush.
This is a popular little track by a picnic area and by the Oreti river just on the outskirts of Invercargill city.
Visit Queens Park
This is a 81 hectare park, right in the centre of the city and a real haven for the local residents and visitors alike.
The park contains numerous gardens, has a botanical area, kids playgrounds, fish and duck ponds, animal reserve, bird sanctuary, a fitness track and lots of walking tracks and paths. A public golf course is situated in the park, along with surrounding cricket grounds, croquet grounds, tennis club and bowling green. There is also a kiosk for refreshments. The Southland Musemn (with the famous tuatara) and Art Gallery also borders the park.
The park was established in 1856
There's a well hidden hut here from which you can see the yellow-eyed pinguins come to shore. You'll have to be there about two hours before sunset and bring your binoculars. Don't come between December and February, because the pinguins will have chicks and they'll need their privacy.
It was named this way, because the first explorers found human bones here and reckoned they were eaten by cannibals. Hooker's sea lions live here and you can walk on the beach between them and get really close.
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