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Top 5 popular destinations from Invercargill Airport

Simple Invercargill car rental to help you kick off your journey with ease.

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5 most popular driving destinations from Invercargill

Located at (nearly) the southern tip of New Zealand, Invercargill is the perfect starting point for exploring the country's deep south. It's also a great place to start a journey heading further north to major cities like Queenstown and Christchurch.

We make it easy to pick up your vehicle and get on your way to traverse the South Island. Conveniently located in the Invercargill Airport terminal, it's as easy as anything to pick up your GO Rentals vehicle and get travelling.

Make sure you download our handy App for a breezy check-in process. Once you're on your way, here are some of the most popular places to visit on your self-driving holiday.

Dunedin

With Dunedin just a 2.5-hour drive from Invercargill, it's no surprise it is the most popular place to head from Invercargill.

Dunedin is home to a range of exceptional attractions, including:

  • Larnach Castle: Dunedin is well-known for its strong Scottish heritage. Larnach Castle is the perfect embodiment of it, standing as the only castle in New Zealand. Nature lovers can also enjoy 7 acres of surrounding gardens.
  • Port Chalmers: A historic town 20 minutes away from Dunedin, Port Chalmers is rich in history and culture. Highlights include Port Chalmers' Regional Maritime Museum and Pea Sea Art. Tours are available to help you take in everything this city has to offer.
  • Dunedin Street Art Trail: For a more modern adventure, the Dunedin Street Art Trail shows off incredible works from local artists. Grab a map from i-SITE Visitor Information Centre.
  • Dunedin Botanic Gardens: Set aside several hours to explore the stunning Dunedin Botanic Gardens. It includes the Dunedin Volcano Trail, an impressive aviary, and a collection of remarkable sculptures.
  • Tūhura Otago Museum: This museum perfectly encapsulates the Otago region while also boasting a trove of artefacts from around the world. It has the largest collection of Southern Māori artefacts found anywhere, hundreds of examples of Victorian taxidermy, and much more.
Dunedin

Christchurch

While an Invercargill to Christchurch road trip takes 7 hours and 20 minutes, it doesn't stop the Garden City from being the second most popular destination from Invercargill.

Once you conclude your road trip, the best sights to see in Christchurch are:

  • Christchurch Botanic Gardens: The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are perhaps the most stunning collection of native and exotic species found anywhere in New Zealand. Best of all, admission is free!
  • Christchurch Gondola: Ask any local, and they'll tell you the Gondola is the best way to see the true Christchurch. You'll experience astonishing 360-degree views of the city, Lyttelton Harbour and other surroundings.
  • Willowbank Wildlife Reserve: This remarkable collection of animals includes gorgeous native species like the Buff Weka, Kākā and North Island Brown Kiwi. You can also check out exotic animals like capuchins, capybaras and emus.
  • Christchurch Art Gallery: With an outstanding permanent collection and a seemingly never-ending rotation of exhibitions, this art gallery is an unmissable stop on your visit to Christchurch.
  • Quake City: Earthquakes are sadly a critical part of Christchurch's history. At Quake City, you'll find stories of loss, courage and resilience that make the Canterbury Region what it is today.
Christchurch

Queenstown

Queenstown is known as the Adventure Capital of the World for very good reason. It's a premier destination for skiing, bungee jumping, skydiving and more. For these reasons, it's the third most popular destination from Invercargill. This road trip will take around 2.5 hours to complete, and it's well worth it thanks to:

  • Skiing: No winter-time journey to Queenstown is complete without snow sports. Fields like the Coronet Peak Ski Area and Treble Cone are some of the best in all of New Zealand.
  • Wine tours: Queenstown is the gateway to the Central Otago wine region. Take a tour to sample the area's best Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
  • Wanaka: Take a quick day trip to the beautiful town of Wanaka. Spend some time in Lake Wanaka and check out incredible local hikes like Rob Roy Glacier Track and Isthmus Peak.
  • Kawarau Bungy Centre: The World Home of Bungy is where New Zealand's famous pastime was born. There's no better place for you to take part in this Kiwi rite of passage.
  • Onsen Hot Pools: For a more relaxing Queenstown experience, check out the Onsen Hot Pools. These amazing hot pools over an astonishing view of the Shotover River. It's the perfect way to bring down your heart rate after an adrenaline-pumping day.
Queenstown

Bluff

Bluff is an underrated New Zealand travel destination and is often considered the country's southern frontier. Just a 20-minute drive from Invercargill, it's a popular destination for good reason.

When travelling to Bluff, attractions and activities to check out include:

  • Award-winning oysters: Perhaps the most famous part of Bluff is its oyster industry. You can find some of the most delicious seafood in the country at spots like Oyster Cove and Fowler Oyster.
  • Stirling Point: Stirling Point offers breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean. It also features a famous yellow signpost letting you know the directions of cities like London, Sydney and New York.
  • Shark-diving: Always wanted to swim with sharks? Plunge into the icy waters of Bluff and see these majestic beasts up close and personal.
  • Bluff Maritime Museum: The Bluff Maritime Museum is a great way to understand New Zealand's seafaring culture. Explore exhibitions including a decommissioned oystering boat, a dive suit and a navy ship gun.
  • Stewart Island: New Zealand's third largest island is accessible by a 1-hour ferry rise from Bluff. Once you're there, go for a cruise or kayak, or enjoy one of many tours throughout the island.
Bluff

Te Anau

Another highly popular destination from Invercargill is Te Anau. This gorgeous location is less than 2 hours away from Invercargill by car.

When you make the trip to Te Anau, you'll want to check out the following attractions:

  • Te Anau Glowworm Caves: Be sure to book a tour of these famous caves. Your visit begins with a cruise around the beautiful Lake Te Anau. You'll enjoy a guided tour through these astonishing caves and the remarkable creatures that live inside them.
  • Te Anau Bird Sanctuary: This scenic open-air sanctuary is the perfect place to observe New Zealand's famous bird species. Discover Kākā, Kererū, Tūā and many more native and exotic species.
  • Lion Lookout Point: Lion Lookout Point offers a stunning view and Te Anau and its surrounding natural features. It's a top sunset location in all of New Zealand.
  • Kepler Track: Te Anau's location makes it the perfect place to set out and explore the Fiordland National Park. The Kepler Track is an ideal starting point, as it was designed to show off the very best of the park. The full walk is 60km, but it's easy to make it shorter with a few alterations.
  • Milford Sound: Te Anau is known as the gateway to one of New Zealand's most iconic landmarks, Milford Sound. Book a cruise or scenic plane ride and find out why it's been considered an unofficial wonder of the world.

With so many beautiful locations just a drive away, the perfect Invercargill holiday is at your fingertips. Book your vehicle from our Invercargill Airport branch today for a trip you'll never forget.

Te Anau