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Invercargill
Waihōpai (Māori)
Looking over central Invercargill
Invercargill City's location within the South Island
Country  New Zealand
Island South Island
Region Southland
Territorial authority Invercargill City
Government
 - Mayor Tim Shadbolt
 - Deputy Mayor Neil Boniface
Area
 - Territorial 491 km2 (189.6 sq mi)
Population (June 2009 estimate)[1]
 - Territorial 52,000
 Density 105.9/km2 (274.3/sq mi)
 Urban 48,300
Time zone NZST (UTC+12)
 - Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)
Postcode(s) 9810, 9812
Area code(s) 03
Website http://www.icc.govt.nz/
Esk Street, one of the main shopping streets of Invercargill.

Invercargill (Waihōpai in Māori[2]) is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities 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 sits amid rich farmland that is bordered by large areas of conservation land and marine reserves, including Fiordland National Park covering the south-west corner of the South Island.

Invercargill is home to the only indoor cycling velodrome in the country. The indoor 250m wooden velodrome is home to Track Cycling in Southland and is currently the fastest track in New Zealand. The Invercargill Licensing Trust supports the Velodrome which is situated at Stadium Southland, a large indoor sports complex located at Surrey Park.

Many streets in the city, especially in the centre and main shopping district, are named after rivers in the United Kingdom, mainly Scotland. These include the main streets Dee and Tay, plus those named after the Tyne, Esk, Don, Thames, Mersey, Ness, Yarrow, Spey, Tay, and Eye rivers.

Contents

Transport

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Road

Invercargill is the southernmost city on New Zealand's state highway network and is linked to Fiordland and the Catlins by the Southern Scenic Route and Dunedin and Gore by SH 1. It is also the southern end of SH6 coming from Queenstown and the West Coast. The main streets of Invercargill: Dee (SH 6) and Tay (SH 1), have been measured at over 40 metres wide, but a lack of traffic on these streets allows for parking on the median. Numerous roads in the city are dual-carriageway but there are no expressways/motorways proposed for the city.

Rail links

Invercargill is at the southern end of the Main South Line railway, which extends up the east coast to Christchurch and Lyttelton 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 at Invercargill, except for occasional excursions. The Bluff Branch extends south from Invercargill and has been freight-only since 1967. The Wairio Branch extends northwest from Invercargill to the Solid Energy coalfields near Ohai and continues to carry freight. Invercargill was once the centre of a much larger rail network, but over the years, since retrenched.

Airport

During the mid 1950s, Invercargill Airport was used for fuel top-up and final take off by Operation Deep Freeze. Twin-engine propeller-driven planes destined for McMurdo Sound in the Antarctic used the airport, assisted in takeoff by JATO rockets under their wings. Bigger aircraft flew from Christchurch when a permanent Deep Freeze base was established there.

Air New Zealand operates eight daily flights to Christchurch and two to Wellington, and Stewart Island Flights make regular flights to and from Stewart Island/Rakiura. Mount Cook Airline and Air Nelson, wholly owned subsidiaries of Air New Zealand, also operate out of the airport. Mainland Air of Dunedin are contracted to fly doctors down to Southland Hospital, from Dunedin Hospital.

History

Southland was a scene of early extended contact between Europeans and Maori, in this case sealers and whalers and missionaries - Wohlers at Ruapuke. From 1848, Otago, of which Southland was itself part, was the subject of planned settlement by the Free Church, an offshoot of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Settlement broadened with the discovery of gold in Central Otago in the 1860s.

Even today, traces of Scottish speech persist in Southland voices, with R often pronounced with a rolling burr. This is more noticeable in country people.

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.

From 1861 to 1870, Invercargill was the centre of Southland Province, which separated from Otago Province, but later rejoined it.

In December 1905, Invercargill voted in local prohibition of alcohol sales. This lasted for 40 years until voted out by returning servicemen in World War II. Drinking continued meanwhile, thanks to huge volumes of beer, often in kegs, brought to private homes, or sold by the glass by keggers at hiding spots round the City. When prohibition ended, a committee of citizens persuaded the Government to give the monopoly on liquor sales in Invercargill to the specially formed Invercargill Licensing Trust. Based on a scheme in Carlisle, England, it returns profits to city amenities. Even today, alcohol is not sold in supermarkets.

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. He once appeared on a cheese ad stating "I don't mind where, as long as I'm Mayor". His supporters like the colour he brings to the city. His opponents refer to his controversial mayoral career in the Auckland suburbs and to his attitude to veterans during his opposition to the Vietnam War.

Economy

Invercargill is home to the Southern Institute of Technology, which has introduced a free-fees scheme. The scheme was partly responsible for rejuvenating the city when it was in a steady state of population decline. However the major factor in Invercargill's regrowth is the Dairy and Milk Solids industrial boom of the first decade of the 21st century. New dairy factories have opened around the province of Southland, as well as more efficient meat processing works and research and development facilities.

Climate

Invercargill has a temperate oceanic climate similar to that of the British Isles. The mean daily temperature ranges from 5.2°C in July to 14°C in January. The yearly mean temperature is 9.9°C. Rainfall averages 1112 mm annually, and measurable snowfall is occasionally seen during the winter months of June to September. It is the cloudiest centre of New Zealand with 1580 hours of sunshine per annum. Despite its cloudiness, and a relatively high frequency of rainy days, Invercargill receives less rain than either Auckland or Wellington. Invercargill is also New Zealand's second windiest city, after Wellington.

The average temperature high ranges from 18.8°C in February to 9.5°C in July, but temperatures do occasionally exceed 25°C in summer with an extreme temperature of 32.2°C having reached before[3]. Owing to its relatively high latitude (46° 42'), the city enjoys nearly 16 hours of daylight at the summer solstice in late December.

Invercargill is "The City of Water and Light". This refers to the long summer twilights and the aurora australis (southern lights). The water reference, humorists suggest, comes from notorious horizontal, driving rain in high wind at the corner of the two main streets, Dee and Tay. A recent sign also states "Invercargill, where dreams can come true" with an image from the 2005 film The World's Fastest Indian.

Climate data for Invercargill
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 18.6
(65)
18.8
(66)
17.2
(63)
15
(59)
12.2
(54)
9.7
(49)
9.5
(49)
11
(52)
12.9
(55)
14.4
(58)
15.8
(60)
17.5
(64)
14.4
(58)
Average low °C (°F) 9.4
(49)
9.1
(48)
7.7
(46)
5.8
(42)
3.7
(39)
1.5
(35)
0.9
(34)
1.9
(35)
3.7
(39)
5.5
(42)
6.8
(44)
8.4
(47)
5.4
(42)
Precipitation mm (inches) 114
(4.49)
79
(3.11)
94
(3.7)
100
(3.94)
114
(4.49)
99
(3.9)
88
(3.46)
71
(2.8)
80
(3.15)
95
(3.74)
81
(3.19)
100
(3.94)
1,112
(43.78)
Source: NIWA Climate Data[4] 1971 – 2000
Panorama of Invercargill from the city's historic watertower. Queen's Park can be seen toward the right of the image.

The Invercargill March

This internationally famous tune was written by Alex Lithgow who attended Invercargill Grammar School (now Middle School).

In his book 'Invercargill - 150 Years' Lloyd Esler's opening sentence reads ... "Invercargill was done a fine favour by Alex Lithgow who named his famous march after his boyhood home. The Invercargill March is possibly the best advertisement the town has ever had as the work is a brass-band favourite and the word ‘Invercargill’ is whispered amongst audiences worldwide. There is only one Invercargill in the world - this one".

When Invercargill hosted the national Brass band contest in 1909, Alex’s brother Tom asked for a test piece for the contest and Alex offered this piece to the city. On the music he wrote ...

To Invercargill, the Southernmost City in New Zealand (End of the World), and its Citizens, I dedicate this March as a momento of the many pleasant years spent there in my boyhood.
—Alex Lithgow

Education

High schools

All High Schools in Invercargill are Year 7-13, following a Ministry of Education review in 2004 that made most of Invercargill's primary schools Year 1-6 and closed the Year 7-8 schools Rosedale Intermediate and Collingwood Intermediate and Tweedsmuir Junior High

  • James Hargest College is in northern Invercargill with about 1800 students. Incoming Principal for 2010 is Andy Wood, replacing Paul O'Connor.[5]
  • Aurora College was established in 2005, after Mount Anglem College was closed in 2004. Current Principal is Robyn Hickman.
  • Southland Girls' High School In 2005 became the first state Year 7-13 single-sex female school in New Zealand. Current Principal is Yvonne Browning.
  • Southland Boys' High School In 2005 became the first state Year 7-13 single-sex male school in New Zealand. Current Principal is Ian Baldwin.
  • Verdon College is a co-educational Catholic school with about 620 students. Current Principal is Paul Olsen.

Primary Schools

Most primary schools are Year 1-6.

  • New River Primary School, co-ed school for Years 1-6 in South Invercargill area. Formerly Kew, South, Clarendon, and Clifton Schools. Current Principal is Elaine McCambridge.
  • St Joseph's, a small co-ed school for Years 1-6, a Catholic school near St Mary's Basilica. Current Principal is Jill Baird.
  • St Theresa's, North Invercargill, a co-ed Catholic primary school. Current Principal is John Lieshout.
  • St Patrick's, Georgetown, a co-ed Catholic primary school. Current Principal is Alan Watts.
  • Ascot Community School, the only public co-ed school in Hawthorndale area. Current Principal is Wendy Ryan.
  • Fernworth Primary - co-ed school in Heidelberg area. Formerly St George and Elston Lea. Current Principal is Anne Walker.
  • Windsor North School, co-ed school in Rosedale area. Previously Invercargill North School. Current Principal is Roger Stephenson.
  • Waverley Park School, co-ed school in Waverley Park area. Current Principal is Kerry Hawkins.
  • Waihopai School, co-ed school in Waihopai area. Current Principal is Allan Mitchell.
  • Salford School, co-ed school in Rosedale area. Current Principal is Marlene Campbell.
  • St John's Girls' School, small school. Invercargill's only private school. Christian character. Current Principal is Brenda MacKay.
  • Sacred Heart Primary School, North Road, Waikiwi. co-ed Special Character Catholic family school serving the northern suburbs of Waikiwi, Grasmere and Makarewa. Current Principal is Peter Forde.
  • Donovan Primary School, co-ed school Grasmere area. Formerly Grasmere, Waikiwi, West Plains. Current Principal is Peter Hopwood.
  • Otatara Primary School, co-ed school in Otatara area. Current Principal is Sharon Livingstone.
  • Newfield Park School, co-ed school in Newfield
  • Seventh Day Adventist. A very small co-ed school that follow that particular religion in the Waikiwi area. Current Principal is Gezina Parrish.

Famous people from Invercargill

Invercargill Water Tower

Sister Cities

Notes

References

  • Reed, A.W. (2002) The Reed dictionary of New Zealand place names. Auckland: Reed Books. ISBN 0-790-00761-4.

External links

Coordinates: 46°25.5′S 168°18.6′E / 46.425°S 168.31°E / -46.425; 168.31


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Invercargill [1] is the most southerly city in New Zealand (the world's most southerly city is Ushuaia in Argentina). It is the service city for the farms of the Southland plains at southern end of the South Island. Built in the late 19th and early 20th century, its wide streets and century old buildings give the visitor a unique feeling of stepping back in time to when business was conducted in a more sedate and considered manner and the streets were paved with Otago gold.

Understand

Invercargill is named after William Cargill, a prominent pioneer Otago settler.

Invercargill's wide streets bear the names of the rivers of Scotland and Northern England.

The city is the service town for the farmers of Southland's fertile plains.

Get in

By bus

InterCity Coachlines [2] is New Zealand's national coach company and operates over 150 services to more than 600 destinations nationwide. They operate daily services from Dunedin to Invercargill and Christchurch as well as to Queenstown and other places in the southern lakes district. The low cost bus option is nakedbus.com [3] with prices starting at $1.

Knight Rider [4] is six times per week option from Christchurch and Dunedin. It arrives in Invercargill at 3.00 AM.

Catch-a-Bus [5] provided service to Dunedin six times a week. This service will pick you up at your door.

By car

Invercargill is the main focal point of numbered highways in Southland.

Heading south from Dunedin you can follow State Highway 1 to Invercargill, with a travelling time of about two-and-a-half hours. Alternatively you can leave SH 1 at Balclutha and follow the Southern Scenic Route [6], often called SH 92, through the Catlins. While only a half hour longer to drive, allow a day for this trip at there's heaps of natural attractions to see.

Invercargill is about two-and-a-half hours south of Queenstown via SH 6.

In addition, following SH 99 through Riverton you can reach Te Anau in about two-and-a-quarter hours.

By plane

Invercargill Airport is about 3 km from Invercargill's Central Business District. It is served by Air New Zealand[7] with flights from Christchurch and Wellington. A flight from Christchurch to Invercargill takes about an hour in a turboprop aircraft. On a clear day the flight is spectacular, with the Southern Alps to the west of the flight path. If flying south to Invercargill be sure to request a window seat on the right or starboard side of the aircraft (request port or left if flying out to Christchurch.) Mount Cook, which is visible about half way through the flight, is merely the biggest of the many massive peaks of the Southern Alps. A direct flight from Wellington takes around 2 and a half hours.

Talk

The inhabitants of Southland, with their Scots ancestry; the nearest New Zealand gets to having different dialects. Many talk with a Southland burr. The rs are rolled in a distinctive manner.

See

Central Business District

The Central Business District main activity is centred on the intersection of Esk and Kelvin streets. However, the overall CBD is bounded by Leven, Tay, Daveron, and Gala streets.

  • Esk Street is the main shopping street of Invercargill running from Don Street to a little east of Kelvin Street. The west end of Esk Street is anchored by Wachner Place, while the main pedestrian area ends at about the Invercargill City Council offices midway between Kelvin and Deveron streets.
  • Wachner Place is a civic open area that captures the sunshine nicely and has become a place to sit and people watch. It also is the location of the central toilets and features showers which are open to the public to use.
  • Bank Corner, the intersection of Tay/The Crescent and Dee/Clyde streets, is located just south of Wachner Place and it features three architecturally wonders from the turn of the 20th Century. These three bank buildings no longer house the banks they were built for but it is worth admiring. In the middle of the roundabout is The Trooper's Memorial which honours those who died during the Boer War in South Africa.
  • Southland Fire Service Museum[8], located at Jed and Spey streets, houses several fire engines and other fire fighting items. Generally open Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday and the admission is a gold coin.
  • Queen’s Park [9] is on the northern edge of the central business district. This large Edwardian styled city park has a lot of amenities including the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, the Observatory[10], Queen’s Park Golf Club[11], rose gardens, duck ponds, an excellent children’s playground, a bird aviary, and a zoo housing introduced species to New Zealand. It is quite easy to spend half a day exploring this 81 hectare park.
  • Southland Museum and Art Gallery[12] on Gala Street, where you can see live Tuatara, a reptile that has been around since the time of the dinosaurs.
  • Bluff – Bluff is about 30 km south of Invercargill and is at the bottom of the South Island, the closest place on the mainland to Antarctica.
  • Stewart Island is New Zealand's third largest island and is visible from Invercargill and many parts of surrounding Southland. You can either fly from Invercargill Airport or take a ferry from Bluff.
  • Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter[13] - This industrial plant is the reason the Manapouri Power Station was built. There are regular tours of the plant, though visitors should leave their watches, electronics and jewellery in a safe place as the strong magnetic fields in the plant can damage sensitive equipment.

Get out

Invercargill can be a base to explore southern New Zealand. Visit Stewart Island, Fiordland, Milford Sound, Queenstown as well as the Catlins.

Sleep

Bushy Point Homestay Eco friendly carbon zero homestay on private reserve. This is an ideal stay for travellers before or following a trip to Stewart Island. This is also the easiest site in New Zealand to see the endangered South Island Fernbird. [14]

Free Resources

You can contact the Invercargill i-Site, or information centre, to get some brochures mailed to you. [15]

And the Invercargill City Council has some good quality street maps of the city that can be downloaded in .pdf format for printing out. [16]

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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