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Invercargill, New Zealand

Invercargill Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Invercargill Ornamental GardensEveryone's been planning their beach holiday, but honestly you just can't stand the heat…and the sweat. You wanted to go somewhere cold…Antarctica kind of cold, but maybe with some things to do rather than miles and miles of never-ending snow and ice. Then you found Invercargill and you knew this was the place that you just had to visit.

You didn't expect to see rugby in the cold climate…but this is New Zealand, bro, and sure enough the Southland Stags were playing at Rugby Park Stadium. You thought you had mysteriously been transported to Egypt when you spotted a pyramid…only to realize it was the Southland Museum and Art Gallery. While you were there, you were entranced by the natural beauty of Queens Park in which the museum is located. Surprisingly that a place in the heart of the city could be so peaceful and serene! Yes, Invercargill was definitely a wise choice for your holiday escape.

You were so looking forward to visiting the cold climate flora and fauna

Especially since visiting a national park is free. But what you didn't expect was that the kids got wind of Oreti Beach. And from that point on, it was all they talked about so you had to check out. In the midst of the flattest sand dunes you had ever seen, you couldn't shake the feeling that this beach seemed strangely familiar. Knowing that this is New Zealand, you immediately cast your mind to all the films you had ever watched and that's when it hit you. This was the beach that New Zealand speed bike racing icon Burt Munro practiced on…but of course all your knowledge of his exploits comes from the film, 'The World's Fastest Indian'.

Instead of the famous Queens Park

Why not visit one of the smaller, less crowded parks like the Otepuni Gardens. Mix with the locals enjoying their lunch hour as you relax in the 9.4 hectares of greenery or you can get active with the many joggers and cyclists that inhabit the park. Otepuni Gardens used to be the main gardens of Invercargill and offers a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Why bother with the usual fast food fare

When your palate will thank you much more for some of the local food. By now you are starting to get a little peckish and you had heard rumours of the region's excellent seafood. So you hired a car and headed down to Invercargill's port at Bluff. A short time later, you know we weren't bluffing as you tuck into some fresh fish and chips along with the finest oysters you had ever tasted. A foodie's delight!

You saved so much on your holiday accommodation

So there was only one thing you were going to spend your savings on. A trip to Antarctica! Lucky you are on the Southern tip of New Zealand so there are plenty of options for your Antarctic expedition. Be sure to do your research and book your tour early…this isn't exactly one of those trips you can spontaneously decide to do.

But you can't leave just yet, not without a visit to Gore. Despite the name, this town's attractions are anything but gruesome and just a short drive from Invercargill. Gore is to New Zealand what Tamworth is to Australia or what Nashville is to the States…it's the 'home of country music'. Time your stay to see the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards which features the equally entertaining New Zealand Line Dancing Championships. If you missed out on the festivities, don't worry – Gore has you covered with a reputation for superb fly fishing on the Mataura River. You never know what you may catch…but it most likely will be brown trout!

Spend Less, Do More

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