Invercargill Airport is a public-owned controlled aerodrome that serves the city of Invercargill, located approximately one mile west of the city centre at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand. Having been built on a land reclaimed from the New River Estuary in 1938, Invercargill Airport was prone to flooding. Plans of relocating the aerodrome to its original site, Dawson Farm, a far 10km from the city centre, was considered. Instead, the aerodrome was built with a large flood protection scheme, with the construction being halted a few times due to heavy rain and an unusual high tidal surge that flooded the area in 1987. The airport is now relatively flood-free upon the completion of the flood protection scheme. The airport only has a single terminal with four tarmac gates. Its first runway is furnace with asphalt surface while the three other runways constitutes of the grass surface.
Invercargill Airport has since aspired to be an international destination in 1980s until 2000s, but with the nearby Queenstown being developed as a more direct route for jet aircraft, Invercargill’s aspirations went unnoticed. With Invercargill Airport’s extended runway, the airport is now being used as a fill up point for international services.
What to see & do
The seemingly flat town of Invercargill doesn’t make the city flat in character. Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Despite this geographical feature, it is in the heart of the Southland Plains on the Oreti, sitting amidst the rich farmland bordered by conservation land and marine reserves. Invercargill is your stop-over point, your gateway to the expansive Fiordland National Park and the Catlins coastal region. Built only in the late 19th century and early 20th century, its wide streets (with street names named after Scotland and Northern England rivers) and century old buildings give the visitors a feeling of taking a step back in time. Don’t let this fool you and associate Invercargill with old, as the city also has fine buildings, notable craft brewery, decent dining scene, and open spaces that will surely cater to your travel needs of leisurely tranquil moments.
Invercargill Brewery is New Zealand’s great southern brewery, which has 20 taps for flagon-fills and a bottled section of its own brews and guests’. Crowd favourites among the brews are the Biman Pilsner and the chocolate-flavoured Pitch Black stout. After having your fill, you can wander off around the Queens Park, a semi-wild park that covers a land area of 81 hectares of trees, plant collections, playing fields, ponds, children’s playground, and a Wonderland castle.
How to get around within Invercargill
You can get around Invercargill as well as nearby cities by hopping into the InterCity, New Zealand’s national bus company. InterCity operates daily services from Dunedin to Invercargill, Christchurch, as well as to Queenstown and other places in Southern Lakes district. Knight Rider bus operates six times a week from Christchurch and Dunedin. For a door-to-door experience, you can opt for the Catch-a-Bus, which also provides service to Dunedin six times a week.
How to get there
You can book a flight and reach Invercargill Airport via Skyscanner, your online source for cheap flights. At present, the airport is being serviced by Air New Zealand, the major carrier operating from the airport, as well as its subsidiaries Air Nelson and Mount Cook Airline, which operate Bombardier Q300 and ATR -72 types. The aforementioned airlines fly to and from destinations within New Zealand such as Christchurch and Wellington. In addition, Steward Island Flights airline also serves the airport, which flies to and from Stewart Island.