* This post has been updated in 2018.
* It also may contain affiliate links, which don’t cost you anything but gives us a small comission.
We were in Omaui, a bit South of Invercargill, for a sunny week in June 2016 and then for a month at the end of 2017.
We were super excited because we were going to the southernmost place in NZ – except for the small islands. We’d been to Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of NZ, in early 2013, so it would be awesome to have those 2 extremes covered.
Other than that, and Bluff Oysters (which we did not try), we didn’t know much about Southland.
But we did have an awesome week, even though we were super tired.
Even though it’s difficult to find accommodation with reasonable prices in Southland, we found a few and they were both some of the best accommodations we’ve had so far.
We spent the week in a perfect house on both visits. Really, I loved every minute of it, even the funny tasting water. It’s big, with 3 bedrooms, a big living room, dining room and kitchen. It has a washing machine and a bathtub. It was super clean, warm and had this amazing view of Omaui Beach from most of the windows. Even though it had only 4 forks and no big pan, we all loved it. It’s, unfortunatelly, out of Airbnb since the owners decided to move to the house.
And then, on our next visit, we also spent some time in this house. It’s big, sunny, very well equipped, and, well, very close to the city of Invercargill. It had things like coloring books for kids, and the owner even let us take 2 books with us to return later.
They were both lovely and those are the moments when we’re very glad for Airbnb.
Things to do in Invercargill with kids
It’s also true that there isn’t a lot to do there, but what’s there is enough for a few good days of fun. Continue below to see all the fun things to do in Invercargill!
- the city walk, of course. Invercargill has a small center, so you can do it all on foot. It’s charming, with buildings from different times, which makes an interesting view.
- Queen’s Park was probably my favorite place there! Beautiful park, with an amazing playground. There are many different gardens, loads of space to cycle, run, walk, skate and everything else. There’s even a little farm animal zoo and a museum there.
- this leads us to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, the museum in Queen’s Park. It’s got this pyramid shape and my kids noticed it super early on. It’s relatively small but quite nice. We found out that Aurora australis (the southern lights) is visible in Invercargill during winter. Didn’t see it, though.
- Stirling Point, the place where the distance signs are. It’s NOT the southernmost point, but it’s close enough. We walked to Foveaux memorial, the actual southernmost point. It’s a super nice and easy walk. It took us around 1 hour each way. Walking, we saw a fur seal, many fantails, seagulls, and shags. By the way, it’s in Bluff, the next town after Invercargill…
- Reading Cinema, to watch Finding Dory, because we had to. Loved it. The cinema is clean, nice, the sound is clear and the image is good. And the movie was amazing. Then in 2018, we went to watch League of Justice and it was still great!
- we stopped by the War Memorial, but we didn’t stay for long, just passed by. It’s the memorial for the people from Invercargill who fought on the war.
In Invercargill, there are also the family activities we haven’t tried, like the Bill Richardson Transport World (although the café there is delicious!) and a visit to the islands around it, like Stewart Island or Auckland Island. If you’re wondering what to do in Invercargill, that’s the list.
Where to eat with kids
We didn’t really try a lot of different food. We just had Burger Fuel because we needed it – cheap, good and fast.
BUT on our last visit, we also tried the café at Bill Richardson Transport World and it was delicious! It’s a little pricey, but it’s worth it!
To finish it…
We did very little there, but what we did, we thoroughly enjoyed. During the week we were there, the sky had this orange-sunsety color all day long.
It was amazing. It’s a small town, with all the facilities we could need. I didn’t think it was as scenic as other cities (except Queen’s Park which is gorgeous) but it’s a nice place to visit. Plus, don’t we all want to see the southern lights?
- City / Country
- Minimun Stay
- $ ~ $$$
- Best local transport option
- Do we recommend it?
- Invercargill / New Zealand
- 2 days
- Very child friendly!
- Car, unfortunately…
- Super safe!
- Yes, we do!
And our video!