The southernmost city in New Zealand and among the southernmost cities in the world, Invercargill is set in a unique landscape of natural beauty, perfect for touring with a hire car. One of the first places European missionaries had extended contact with the local Maori whalers and sealers, Invercargill is also rich in a culture which has retained its own individual feel from the rest of the world.
An ideal place to pick up your hire car, Invercargill is your gateway to some of New Zealand's natural treasures. To the west, you will find Fiordland National Park, the largest national park in New Zealand. One of the world's truly untouched areas, Fiordland is where the Southern Alps meet the sea. Along with winding rivers and crystal clear lakes, the rugged mountains form breathtaking water filled valleys, also known as fiords. Driving your rental car is the ultimate way to explore the area and take part in local activities, with hiking, camping, fishing and scenic flights among the most popular on the list of things to do.
Jump in your hire car and head east from Invercargill to visit the Catlins, another area untainted by the developed world. Here you will find vast untouched landscapes, filled with rainforests and unique wildlife not seen anywhere else in the world. Many of the few residents in the area are direct descendants of local Maori and European whalers of the early 19th century, and guided tours are a very popular way to see things you would not find without the aid of their local knowledge.
While in Invercargill there is still plenty to see and do without leaving the city. With many museums, art galleries and historical sites, travellers often end up staying longer than planned. If you are lucky enough to be there at the right time, you may even get to see the Aurora Australis. Imagine heading out of the city in your rental car to a beach or headland and watching the sky light up in magical colours as you enjoy your own private view of this truly amazing phenomenon.
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