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Five Fun Facts about Invercargill

Published on 30 September 2021

3 minute read

Invercargill has a lot of going for it. With a rich history and some unique features, there’s a lot of things you might not know about the city. In this article, we’ll cover five fun facts about Invercargill. How many did you know?

1. Home to many of the world’s most southernmost things

Invercargill is the southernmost city in New Zealand. But you may not know that it is also home to many of the world’s most southernmost things like the most southern KFC and McDonalds in the world. Find out more about how Invercargill has the world’s southernmost things here.

2. Filming location for cult classics

New Zealand is one of the most common international filming sites due to its pristine scenery and open locations. While many films are done on the North Island, Invercargill has been the filming site for a few cult classics.

The World’s Fastest Indian stars Anthony Hopkins and is about Invercargill resident Burt Munro, who set the current land speed world record 1967. The remake for Goodbye Pork Pie titled Pork Pie was filmed in Invercargill in 2017. One condition of the filming was that the famous yellow Mini Cooper used in the movie would stay in the city; you can currently see it on display at the Pork Pie exhibit at Bill Richardson Transport World.

3. Unique Guidelines around Alcohol

If you go to a dairy or supermarket in Invercargill, you might notice the lack of alcohol on the shelves. This is due to the Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT) and unique guidelines around alcohol. The ILT supplies all alcohol within the city and it can only be sold at licensed establishments. In return, the ILT funds many city projects including schools, supports, and city development, and also gives money back to the community.

The ILT donates hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars every year. But if you’re scratching your head wondering where to buy drinks, you can get them at bars and taverns, or at Liquorland or Superliquor.

4. Home of the Burt Munro Challenge

Perhaps the largest annual event in Southland is the Burt Munro Challenge. The Burt Munro Challenge is a once-a-year event where riders from across the country take part in a series of races and challenges featuring motorbikes. Historically, the festival has happened in Late Spring or summertime, and the town is filled with visitors and the sound of motorbikes throughout the day.

Along with the racers, spectators local and abroad stop into town to watch the races and enjoy the festivities. There is food, merchandise, and camping as spectators cheer on their favourite to win races and the coveted Competitor of the Year award. Accommodation can fill up several months in advance, so make sure to book early if you want to be reserve your spot for the event!

5. The cloudiest city in New Zealand

Invercargill is extreme by many metrics. It’s the southernmost city in New Zealand as well as one of the coolest. It’s also the 2nd windiest city behind Wellington.

Another extreme for Invercargill is that it’s the cloudiest city in the country. On average, it gets 1690 hours of sun hours per year–which equates to sunshine about 20% of the time. While it’s the cloudiest, it isn’t the rainiest, but you’ll find clouds more often than not when you glance up at the sky.