Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost settlements in the world. It is the commercial centre of the Southland region. It lies in the heart of the wide expanse of the Southland Plains on the Oreti or New River some 18 km north of Bluff, which is the southernmost town in the South Island. It is bordered by large areas of conservation land and marine reserves, including Fiordland National Park covering the south-west corner of the South Island. There is much rich farmland to the north, as far as the beautiful lakes of neighbouring Otago.
In 1856 a petition was put forward to Thomas Gore Browne, the Governor of New Zealand, for a port at Bluff. Browne agreed to the petition and gave the name Invercargill to the settlement north of the port. Inver comes from the Scots Gaelic word inbhir meaning a river's mouth and Cargill is in honour of Captain William Cargill, who was at the time the Superintendent of Otago, of which Southland was then a part.
During the mid 1950s, Invercargill Airport was used as an American base for Operation Deep Freeze. Large planes destined for McMurdo Sound in the Antarctic utilised the airport assisted in takeoff by JATO rockets under their wings.
Invercargill is home to the Southern Institute of Technology, which has introduced a fees-free scheme. There is a large park, Queen's Park, just north of the city centre. This park has botanical gardens, an aviary, sports grounds, and is also home to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery. Anderson Park, located on the northern boundary of Invercargill, consisting of a large Georgian-style residence set in 24 hectares of landscaped gardens. The house displays Invercargill's extensive collection of New Zealand art.
As a regional centre, it has a large number of shops. Due to the Invercargill Licensing Trust, alcohol is not sold in supermarkets, the monopoly trust putting all profits back into the community. Many streets in the city, especially in the centre and main shopping district, are named after rivers in Scotland and England. These include Dee, Tyne, Esk, Don, Thames, Mersey, Ness, Yarrow, Spey, Tay, and Eye rivers.
Invercargill is at the southern end of the Main South Line railway, which extends up the east coast to Christchurch via Dunedin. Until the cancellation of the Southerner in 2002, Invercargill had the southernmost passenger railway station in the world. Passenger trains no longer call in Invercargill, except for occasional excursions. The Bluff Branch extends south from Invercargill and has been freight-only since 1967. It is also home of the SBS Invitational Amateur golf tournment which is held every year at the beginning of March.
In recent years, publicity has been brought to the southern city by the election of Tim Shadbolt, a colourful and outspoken former student activist, as mayor.
I really liked Invercargill it was winter when I went this year and it was sunny most days the people were so incredibly friendly and the seafood is to die for, so we purchased investment properties and we will return to live there eventually. By the way message for POSSIE there's a nelson st in gore if that helps.
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there aren't so many skinheads here--not as many as Christchurch where they really are a problem. i suppose if y're from the Nth Island it would look like there are heaps...I've been here 4 years and never had a problem, It would suck to be Chinese here tho.
Generally the people are good here, if a little insular...some of them seem think that Invers is the centre of the universe.
A good place to get to other places from, that's it's biggest draw.