Stop #20: Invercargill

Number of nights: 2
Distance: 236 KM (4,657 KM Total)

So here’s a bit of useless trivia for you: Invercargill is as south on the globe as Quebec City is north: 46 degrees latitude. It doesn’t seem like it when you look at a globe, probably because there’s very little land on this planet that’s further south than New Zealand. Perhaps being so south is what made this city feel so isolated, but not really in a bad way. Invercargill is unique in that it’s a gear head’s dream: there are all sorts of car museums, the streets are straight and 40 meters wide (perfect for drag racing), and the hardware store contains relics from Burt Munro’s motorcycle collection (he was the World’s Fastest Indian, of which they made a movie starring Anthony Hopkins). In addition to that I noticed a lot of people driving souped-up cars, like you would in the 70’s.

That being said, The Rolling Stones once called Invercargill the “arsehole of the world”, and yes, it’s an ugly industrial town. This was probably compounded by the fact that we were arriving from Milford Sound, one of the most photogenic places of the country. Because of this, I unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) didn’t take any pictures! Instead what you see below are photos of the nearby town of Bluff, which is considered to be the most southern point of New Zealand.

We drove up to Bluff Hill Lookout, and this is looking north. That’s our silver van, Fernadette.
This is Stirling Point, the official south end of New Zealand.
An unremarkable lighthouse. Looking south, you can almost see Antarctica. Actually, no: it’s still 2,700 km away.
Fishermen on the coast of Stirling Point.
A rocky beach at Stirling Point. More like a bouldery beach at Stirling Point.
This location also marks the beginning (or ending) of the Te Araroa trail, which snakes its way all the way up to the north tip of the North Island of New Zealand, a distance of 3,000 km!
The famous directions sign at the south tip of New Zealand. There’s a similar one on the north tip as well.