Central Southland attractions

Top Choice Museum in Invercargill

Bill Richardson Transport World

A kingdom of shiny chrome lies beyond the doors of Transport World, touted as the largest private automotive museum on the planet. Across 15,000 sq metres of warehouse space you'll find classic cars, hulking tractor…
Top Choice Museum in Riverton

Te Hikoi Southern Journey

Oh, that all small-town museums could be this good! This riveting museum starts with a 16-minute film dramatising key events in the region's history, including the arrival of the first European seal hunters (fiercel…
Museum in Invercargill

Southland Museum & Art Gallery

Adjoining the local visitor centre in a big white pyramid (flashes of the Louvre?), Invercargill's cultural hub has permanent displays on Southland's natural and human history, recounting plenty of maritime exploits…
Museum in Bluff

Bluff Maritime Museum

Salty tales whisper from the portholes, driftwood and barnacle-clung planks displayed at Bluff's small museum. The best part is clambering aboard the Monica and posing at the control of this 1909 oystering ship, tho…
Gallery in Gore

Eastern Southland Gallery

Nicknamed the ‘Goreggenheim’, this gallery has an impressive treasury of contemporary New Zealand art, including a large Ralph Hotere collection, as well as fascinating indigenous folk art from West Africa and Austr…
Museum in Gore

Hokonui Moonshine Museum

Guaranteed to raise a wry smile, this museum within the Hokonui Heritage Centre walks visitors through 50 years of prohibition in the early 20th century. Gore's enterprising Scottish immigrants promptly distilled th…
Landmark in Invercargill

Water Tower

Built in 1889, this elegant brick-clad structure resembles a lighthouse more than it does a water tower. Almost 43m high, it was built to supply the city with ready water in the event of a fire.Though it's Invercarg…
Park in Invercargill

Queens Park

Half-wild, half-tamed Queens Park encompasses a whopping 80 hectares, with various gardens themed from Japanese to native NZ plant life. There are also ponds, playgrounds, farm animals, aviaries and attractive landm…
Basilica in Invercargill

St Mary's Basilica

This broad-domed Roman Catholic basilica, open since 1905, is one of Invercargill's most elegant landmarks, and a standout against the low-rise skyline. It's worth peeping inside to admire design features such as th…
Viewpoint in Te Waewae & Colac Bays

McCracken's Rest

It's worth stopping at McCracken's Rest, the most impressive lookout point along the Southern Scenic Route, for views of wind-lashed Te Waewae Bay (and, if you're lucky, Hector's dolphins and southern right whales).