Category Archives: Bella Vista Invercargill
Check-in on our New Zealand travel blog for latest news, events and updates - along with a splash of personality from the whole team at Bella Vista!
Posted by Bella Vista on
With a reputation as the vintage motoring capital of New Zealand, Invercargill has many other surprising attractions tucked up its deep Southern sleeves. From hunting to fishing and stunning hikes, we’ve rounded up the most epic things to do in Invercargill and Stewart Island.
Find your inner excavator
Channel your Bob the Builder or digger driver fantasy by visiting Dig This, New Zealand's first heavy equipment playground. It’s an experience that only the rugged folk of Southland could dream up! Choose between bulldozers, excavators, mini excavators and skid steers to push, scrape and lug gravel around a giant pit. Book the Dig and Destroy session to dig holes, move tyres, pick up basketballs off road cones and crush a car, from your mega-digger. Best of all, no experience or heavy-duty licence is required to get behind the levers and power the peddles. This is an experience for big boys and girls, so put this top of your Invercargill to do list.
Discover the wild deep south
Some of New Zealand’s best hiking, fishing and game hunting sits 15 minutes outside of Invercargill. A short flight over to Stewart Island provides a playground of deep-water fishing or back country hunting. There are 35 restricted hunting blocks on Rakiura/Stewart Island, only accessible with an approved hunting permit. So, apply for a permit to reserve your very own hunting tract for a day.
On a fishing charter from Half Moon Bay, take in the spectacular surroundings of Foveaux Strait and Stewart Island, as you fish for blue cod and bluenose. Learn how to prepare, set and retrieve cod pots and how to fillet your catch once landed. A huge marine reserve in Paterson Inlet is a diver’s paradise, featuring clear waters, underwater forests of tall kelp and amazing marine life.
One of the best things to do in Stewart Island, is hike a section of the Rakiura Great Walk by combining a flight, hike and water taxi package. You’ll experience amazing birdlife, stunning beaches and the rugged beauty which you’ll only find on New Zealand’s third largest island.
Marvel over classic motors
Discover a 50-year restoration journey at Bill Richardson Transport World, one of the top-rated Invercargill attractions. Car lovers will enthuse over 250 vintage vehicles including retro Kombi’s, Henry Ford Model T’s and V8’s, not to mention 150 vintage petrol bowsers. Welcome to the largest private collection in the world of classic cars along with a wearable arts collection, movie theatre and children’s play zones.
Motorbike enthusiasts will be equally impressed by Classic Motorcycle Mecca, a world-class display of over 300 motorcycles and artworks, with a collection spanning 100 years, including solo, sidecar and three extremely rare New Zealand-made John Britten motorcycles.
Meanwhile at E Hayes Motorworks, the one and only Bert Munroe is celebrated as the fastest man on two wheels. Kiwi Bert raced a 1920’s Indian Scout against the clock in 1967 to set an unbroken land speed record and was immortalised in the movie "The World's Fastest Indian", starring Anthony Hopkins. Today Bert’s bike is the centrepiece of the extensive vintage Motorworks Collection, proudly displayed alongside power tools, lawnmowers and camping equipment! You read that right as E Hayes is actually a fully-fledged hardware store (formerly owned by a late friend of Berts), rather than a museum, so visitor entry is free!
Allow a good hour or two at each museum, as there are treasures at every turn.
After an epic day out, head next door to Louies Cafe & Tapas Bar, one of the best places to eat in Invercargill. Inside the softly lit heritage building, you’ll discover a menu of local flavours and farm to table ingredients, belying the owner’s strong M?ori roots.
As starters, try the highly rated salt & horopito pepper squid and the finger-licking tamarind ginger glazed chicken followed by a main of roasted lamb rump or freshly caught Stewart Island salmon with orange miso. The moist blue cod with capers, served with a crisp glass of Pinot Gris is a longstanding classic. Skip dessert in favour of an espresso martini, which the locals rave about.
With so many things to do in Invercargill and great places to eat, ask the Bella Vista team for further recommendations. Whatever you do, this Southern city of water and light is sure to leave a lasting impression.
- Purchase a Turbo Pass to get discounted entry to both Classic Motorcycle Mecca and Bill Richardson’s Transport World.
- Prices & Buy Tickets: Bill Richardson Transport World » Bill Richardson Transport World
- Rakiura Stewart Island day-trips
- How to apply for a Stewart Island hunting permit
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Planning a self-drive tour of the deep South? Invercargill, the city of water and light, provides the perfect base from which to explore Stewart Island and the beautiful Catlins, Fiordland and Te Anau on the stunning Southern Scenic Route. There are unique experiences within easy reach of New Zealand’s most Southern city, where you can even hire an old-school Kombi van for a classic holiday adventure. Here’s a guide to the best side trips from your comfortable ‘home-away-from home’ at the Bella Vista Motel Invercargill.
Explore the Catlins Coastal Heritage Trail
One of the best things to do in Invercargill is a drive to the Catlins, the remote jewel in the crown of the Southern Scenic Route, with its wild coastline, dense forests and cascading waterfalls. Head to the Fortrose Cliffs for its panoramic clifftop views, then venture on to the picturesque Waipapa Point Lighthouse. Several walking tracks lead from the lighthouse carpark to the beach, so look out for a sea lion or two. A wildlife encounter is on the cards as the Catlins region is also home to fur seals, yellow-eyed penguins, dolphins, and seabirds. The scenery is equally engaging with pounding surf, desolate beaches, dramatic rock formations and even a petrified forest of ancient trees. The crowds will be non-existent, and the skies will appear more expansive in this remarkable area.
After a morning’s sightseeing, retreat to the Fortrose Café, which should be included on the best places to eat in Invercargill list, but geographically it’s not! Choose from a counter packed full of freshly baked goodies, or heartier options like the home-style seafood chowder or pasta with mushrooms, bacon, and spinach. Sit back, relax and take in the wide sea views over the brim of a piping hot cup of coffee.
On the return drive, drop into the Catlins village of Waikawa for a glimpse into times past, with its historic and charming main street.
Steward Island side trip
Just a 15-minute flight from Invercargill is largely untouched Rakiura Stewart Island. A protected National Park covers much of the island, meaning it’s a great place for bird watchers, kiwi spotting and hiking. The charming village of Oban provides a slice of local life while a short water taxi to Ulva Island will reveal a predator-free island sanctuary bursting with bird song. You can also experience a short section of the Rakiura Great Walk by booking a fly-hike-water taxi package with Stewart Island Flights, so add this to your Invercargill things to do list.
Rest day: Invercargill in a nutshell
Spend the day exploring this Scottish-influenced city, nestled on the banks of the Waihopai River and shores of the New River Estuary. Invercargill’s wide streets are lined with veranda-slung heritage buildings offering great food and coffee, like Industry Café, one of the best brunch places to eat in Invercargill. Their lip-smacking chorizo and bacon cheese rolls are simply divine.
With a reputation as New Zealand’s “Classic Motoring Capital,” drop into local hardware store, E Hayes Motorworks to view the fastest motorbike in the world. In 1967, Burt Munro's 'World's Fastest Indian' bike set the land speed record which still stands today.
Take a 20-minute drive from the Bella Vista motel out to Bluff’s Stirling point, where New Zealand’s State Highway 1 begins. Snap a picture under the infamous Bluff signpost then take a walk up Bluff Hill for marvellous ocean views. Enjoy lunching on the finest and freshest seafood from the Foveaux Strait, where tasty Bluff oysters may appear on the menu between March and August. These glossy, flavour-packed shellfish are highly sought after the world over.
The ‘city of water and light’ refers to the long summer days and the spectacularly clear night skies, Invercargill locals enjoy. At twilight, follow the central Heritage Trail to learn more about the area’s history and take a stroll through elegant Queens Park, with its grand entrance gate, themed gardens, animal enclosures and Victorian band rotunda.
Get a taste for Fiordland
Discover the Fiordland frontier towns of Manapouri and Te Anau, two hours north of Invercargill. Take a cruise through Doubtful Sound or a scenic flight over Milford Sound to view the fiords. Or travel across Lake Te Anau in a water taxi and hike a short section of the Kepler Track, another New Zealand Great Walk. Milford Sound is naturally magnificent, while locals refer to the less known Doubtful Sound as 'the sound of silence', for its beautiful isolation. On the return drive, stop for photos at Te Anau Downs, for stunning views over Lake Te Anau.
Give yourself time to explore stunning Southland including the best things to do in Invercargill. There’s so much to see, eat and do that you won’t regret it!
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With summer just begun our minds start drifting thoughts of a summer getaway. A quintessential kiwi holiday. A chance to enjoy some lazy days in the sun, a trip to the beach, or just a complete change of scenery.
With 27 destinations nationwide Bella Vista motel accommodation network offers a great number of destinations to choose from. But popular destinations can quickly book up in the summer months and so we want to highlight 3 alternative destinations that you should consider for a fun-filled summer getaway.
The city of New Plymouth sits on the far west coast of the North Island, in one of the best surf regions of New Zealand, so we think this is an ideal spot for a summer holiday. Spend a day cruising Surf Highway 45 picking top spots to while away the day at the beach or book a surf lesson with a local expert for some great fun in the waves. New Plymouth is known for its coastal walkway that stretches 12.7km along the fabulous coastline. This is fantastic for walking at your own pace, or hire a bike and feel the sea breeze on your face as you glide along. There are amazing outdoor art displays along the way, like the iconic Wind Wand or take in the spectacular views of Mount Taranaki from the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge. You can while away time by investigating rock-pools or having a much-needed coffee stop!
There is so much to discover from art galleries to beautiful parks, beaches to restaurants, the subalpine forests and waterfalls of Egmont National Park to the home of seals, seabirds and other marine life at the Sugar Loaf Marine Park. From kayaking to surfing, walking or biking, relaxing on the beach or taking a tour of the area – there is enough to keep you as busy as you wish, interested, and most importantly to come away knowing you’ve had another brilliant summer getaway.
Did you know that Blenheim is only 30 minutes from Picton or 1.5 hours from Nelson and so it is an ideal spot for that summer getaway? Not only will you be close to Marlborough Sounds, Nelson City and neighbouring beaches and the Abel Tasman, but you will be based within the heart of one of New Zealand’s famous wine regions – Marlborough. The region boasts a rather pleasant sunny climate and therefore offers a wide range of outdoor leisure activities and a relaxed lifestyle on top of the flourishing wine industry. With over 50 vineyards near Blenheim you can have a great day out tasting and sampling food and wines. Make it even more fun and do it all on a bike tour!
The Marlborough Flyer is a great way to get a taste of Picton on a day out. The train operates some Super Sundays which enable you to travel by majestic steam train from a by-gone era to Picton from Blenheim Station and back. The 70-minute journey on the Marlborough Flyer to Picton will include the challenging decent into Picton on a 1-in-37 grade, the 4th steepest rail line in New Zealand. The journey allows for a couple of hours to explore Picton before the 50-60 minute ride back to Blenheim.
Don’t forget to check out filmmaker Peter Jackson’s collection of World War I aircraft at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. The aircraft are displayed in realistic dioramas created by Peter Jackson's Weta Digital. It’s pretty awesome and a must see whilst in Blenheim.
Invercargill sits at the bottom of the South Island surrounded by farmland but the gateway to some of New Zealand’s spectacular wilderness areas such as the Catlins, Stewart Island and Fiordland.
The city also boasts a number of exciting must see and dos. The Southland Museum and Art Gallery has live tuatara reptiles that you can see. Queens Park is a large 81-hectare Edwardian styled city park featuring flower displays, the Observatory, rose gardens, duck ponds, bird aviary and zoo, a children’s playground and sports facilities such as the Queen’s Park Golf Club. It’s a great place to explore. Take a picnic and while away an afternoon. To the southeast, Waituna Lagoon is home to abundant bird life and trout populations and has some easy walking trails. The Bill Richardson Transport World is a must-see museum for history and automotive lovers as it showcases the transportation history of NZ including vintage motors and old-fashioned petrol pumps.
Exploring outside the city offers several options: To the north you have the Southern Scenic Route, a magnificent drive through stunning scenery into the mountains and Queenstown. It’s a 2 hour 15 minute drive each way but makes for a great day out to explore the lakeside resort town. Time for a jetboat ride or cruise on the lake, a spa or an ice-cream on the lakefront, a gondola ride or a meander round the shops and a leisurely bite at one of the many cafés and restaurants.
Bluff, a quiet little town only 30 kilometres south of Invercargill is famous for its oysters and the Bluff Oyster Festival held each year. From here, take a 1 hour ferry ride to Stewart Island, where you can experience the wild beauty of bush and beach, a slower pace of life in an unspoilt slice of New Zealand. Take a guided walk, a village and bays tour or visit Ulva Island, a renowned bird sanctuary.
The Catlins coast offers some dramatic and wild scenery. The drive as far as Curio Bay takes about 1 hour 13 minutes but allow for a few stops along the way. Visit Waipapa Point’s Historic Lighthouse and the scene of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipwreck, the passenger steamer SS Tararua in 1881. It is located on a very scenic section of dunes and beach that make it certainly worthy of a visit and sealions and fur seals frequent the beach. Curio Bay is home to a 160 million year old fossilised forest and one of the major attractions of the Catlins. Walk among the stumps of the petrified forest at low tide, the remaining tree stumps and logs are exposed and clearly visible.
Bella Vista motels welcomes you to these destinations and our friendly hosts at Bella Vista Blenheim, Bella Vista New Plymouth and Bella Vista Invercargill would love to help you start planning your stay. They offer a range of accommodation to suit your needs, are close to town centres and have free parking along with unlimited free WiFi.
So book now and book direct at www.bellavista.co.nz and get your summer getaway locked in!
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If you are travelling to New Zealand or are a resident Kiwi, there is a good chance you're already aware that New Zealand motels offer a great option for your overnight accommodation needs.
With 27 motels nationwide, Bella Vista is well placed to cater for anyone requiring a motel stay. They are affordable, comfortable and convenient plus in most instances, you will get a better feel for your locality. Whether you stay at Bella Vista Oamaru, Bella Vista Hamilton or Bella Vista Queenstown you will enjoy the hospitality of your Bella Vista host and be assured that each motel is Qualmark endorsed.
Unlike hotels, motels in New Zealand are not big complexes, will not have an on-site restaurant, swimming pool, lobby area, nor different staff for each department. But then you don't have to pay for these extras either! By comparison, Bella Vista Motels will have a welcoming reception area, a convenient carpark, some public spaces such as a garden or BBQ area and guest units within a secure courtyard.
As Bella Vista's are managed by the owners/operator, you will certainly enjoy Bella Vista's genuine kiwi hospitality; a laid back and down to earth style and attitude.
Up to this point, if you have now decided to make a reservation with Bella Vista Accommodation Nationwide, here are 10 light-hearted tips you really should know before you arrive at the motel
1. There's no slippers
Yep. So there it is. We thought we'd get this out of the way first. Bella Vista nor New Zealand motels in general offer complimentary slippers. We understand you're disappointed so do make sure you pack your own.
2. Bella Vista motels are two storeys tall and do not have an elevator
Requests cannot always be guaranteed, but if you'd prefer to be on the ground floor please make sure you book with the motel and place your request directly rather than via a booking websites.
3. Please don't dry your clothes on the heater
Be very careful as it will create a significant safety risk. Covering a heater can cause fire.
4. Leave your luggage in the car
On your arrival, relax and leave your belongings in your car. Save your time and energy so that you only have to carry your luggage once, from your car to your room, after you have checked in.
5. Bella Vista Motel reception is not open 24/7
Bella Vista owner operators live on-site and do go to bed at night. They need their rest to ensure they can be bright and look after you during the day. So if you are going to check-in later than the advertised office hours, please make sure you let your host know.
6. Check-out time is 10 o'clock
For Bella Vista and most motels in New Zealand, check-out time is 10am. You can request a late-check out from your host which may be available.
7. Drying Dishes
In New Zealand we dry the dishes with a tea towel after being washed and then put them back in the cupboard. Just a friendly request not to put wet dishes back in the cupboard!
8. Enjoy an electric blanket
Electric blankets are terrific inventions and it seems that many hotels don't even know they exist. They are particularly useful in winter. Simply turn it on at least an hour before go to bed to get your bed warm and then turn it off once you're in bed before you sleep.
9. Make your own breakfast
Every Bella Vista room features a kettle and toaster, complimentary tea, coffee and milk. So feel free to add some extras and put together a half-decent breakfast before you leave.
10. Be Aware of the T&C's
Terms and Conditions sound so tedious but they are there for a reason. So it is important that you understand them once you have completed your booking. Look specifically for cancellation and amendment policies so you can be sure your booking won't become problematic.
With these tips now safely stored, head to www.bellavista.co.nz and book your next stay.
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Today, Wednesday 7th February is global #bookdirect day. It’s the one day in the calendar year where the hospitality industry including the 27 nationwide Bella Vista Motels would like to remind our valuable customers that you can Book Direct with Bella Vista New Zealand and that you don’t have to book via an Online Travel Agent.
But why Book Direct we hear you cry. Well here’s a few reasons:
1. The Best Price.
Don’t always believe what you read and hear! You will always get a better price booking with your host. It costs them less to receive your booking over the phone, on the Bella Vista website or by email as they don’t have to pay agent commission - so ignore those annoying adverts and visit www.bellavista.co.nz or dial our Freephone reservation number 0800 235 528. Quite often you might even receive a special offer.
Enjoy the most favourable booking conditions with no hassle of having to work through a faceless intermediary. Phone your host and they are going to be more than happy to assist every single time. Surely that has to be better than contacting an offshore call centre and finding out no one really wants to help you amend your booking.
3. Local Knowledge.
Whilst making your reservation, your host will answer all your questions about your stay without hesitation and no doubt offer some friendly advice at the same time. Take your time to pick their brains to make the most of your visit.
4. Secure your favourite room.
By booking direct and talking to your host, you can request your preferred room. Whether it’s a garden view, an upstairs or downstairs studio, make your request and fingers crossed the room is available. This simply isn’t possible to do with an online travel agent.
5. Help is at hand!
Have you ever had a booking with an online travel agent go wrong? Let’s just say the booking engine has a failed and you have booked a room that you think is available when in actual fact it isn’t. It’s not your fault. It’s not the motel or hotels fault but you’re the one left to pick up the pieces. If you want to avoid this disastrous scenario, book direct every time.
6. Book Now, Pay Later.
Secure your booking and pay when you arrive. That’s always going help with the holiday cash-flow
7. Earn Bella Vista Rewards.
Only customers who Book Direct are entitled to collect Bella Vista Rewards. If you Book Direct you will earn 5 points every time you stay which can be saved and then cashed in against a future stay. So booking direct is not only cheaper but we give you something back – how good is that!* *available at participating Bella Vista's only
8. Support the New Zealand economy!
Every time you book via one of these monolithic online travel agents, your money is leaving the country and only a small portion gets returned to your host when you stay. It may be you don’t care whether the government is able to capture it’s GST slice, but why should other countries profit either.
9. Put a smile on your hosts faces.
There is nothing your host will like more than a booking that has come directly to them. You making them happy will in turn increase the likelihood of them making your stay even better!
10. Free Continental Breakfast.
If you Book Direct on the Bella Vista website today, Wednesday 7th February, we’re going to give you a free breakfast when you stay. Just as a little way of saying thanks.
- Visit www.bellavista.co.nz
- Call 0800 235 528
- Email [email protected]
Posted by Bella Vista on
In the modern digital age, every person travelling with a smartphone, iPad or other device has the opportunity to both read and post reviews and ratings on their overnight experience.
Whether they choose to leave their thoughts and opinions on Trip Advisor, Google, or a booking agent’s website, this very public feedback has guaranteed that New Zealand accommodation standards must remain high and guest expectations are met every time.
The evolution of user-centric feedback is an overwhelmingly positive development for the travel and tourism industry and ensures the general public can be fully informed about their purchasing decision by peers rather than by some clever marketing words or sales pitch. It’s the way things should be.
The digital feedback revolution is something that the Bella Vista Accommodation network fully supports. All positive feedback allows our terrific motel operators to take comfort that they are delivering a great experience. Of course, no motelier wants to receive a poor review but when that does occasionally occur, more often than not, it’s an easy fix and we are able to improve our offer.
One critical point that the customer seems to miss when using peer-to-peer reviews, however, is that these ratings are really only scratching the surface and are simply a superficial overview. Important questions that all New Zealand motels should be able to answer often get left unasked. Those question should include:
- How robust are your health and safety policies and practices?
- What does your businesses environmental footprint look like?
- Do you engage and give back to your local community ?
- Do you have an emergency plan to ensure I can rely on you in the unlikely event of a natural disaster?
- What do your cleaning schedules and systems look like and do they meet not just international standards by my standards?
This is where Quality really comes into the equation of deciding where you want to stay. In Bella Vista’s opinion, only accommodation operators who have been audited by a recognisable external and independent organisation can really promote their accommodation business with any kind of credible quality or star rating.
Bella Vista works closely with Qualmark, New Zealand’s official quality assurance
organisation who provide a trusted guide to quality travel experiences in New Zealand. Qualmark's business advisors visit Bella Vista motels at least once a year ensuring we
are checked against best- practise operating standards and the optimum customer
solid processes as audited by Qualmark result in a better product. Furthermore, research
shows that an identifiable mark of quality is an important deciding factor when customer’s
etermine where they book. Certainly, any motel promoting itself as ‘self-rated’ does not
provide the necessary credibility any guest to New Zealand deserves.
From 4 Star rated Bella Vista Queenstown in the south to 4.5 Star rated Bella Vista Whangarei in the north, Bella Vista takes pride in the fact that we are the only motel chain in New Zealand that is Qualmark endorsed across each of our 27 comfortable and convenient locations.
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Stewart Island or Rakiura is New Zealand's third Island and is absolutely unique. With only 381 inhabitants it is a quiet and tranquil place where native New Zealand wildlife can be found in abundance. The island is predominantly given over to the Rakiura National Park covering about 85% of the island, which limits human incursion to the small settlement of Oban.
For the majority of travellers, Invercargill is the main gateway to Stewart Island and Bella Vista Invercargill provides a great stopover option before and or after the amazing experience you will encounter across Foveaux Strait
Many travellers choose Bella Vista as their preferred Invercargill accommodation option before heading south. Not only is Bella Vista the closest Invercargill motel to the town centre but its central location is ideal for a short transfer to Invercargill airport (10 minutes) for a 20 minute flight to Stewart Island or as a departure point for the 20 minute drive to Bluff where travellers can then catch the Foveaux Express, a custom-made catamaran which takes an hour to cross the notorious Foveaux Strait.
From hunting to tramping to fishing to relaxing, Stewart Island is like going back in time. From the moment you set foot on the island, you’ll get the sense of a different way of life. Even the 6 hole golf course is located in a breath-taking setting on the Ringaringa cliffs.
Enjoy watching the changing skies of Rakiura, boasting world-class sunsets and sunrises, the magical sight of the Aurora Australis, or the twinkling stars across a clear night sky. It is something very special and the team at Invercargill Bella Vista can personally testify to that.
Conservation, birds and other wildlife are second to none on the Island. Of particular note, Ulva Island, a small island sanctuary is a dedicated bird reserve set within Paterson Inlet within Oban Harbour is a must visit. Stewart Island is also unique in that viewing the Kiwi in its natural habitat is an amazing experience.
For those of you who are the trampers, Stewart Island is home to New Zealand's southernmost Great Walk - the 3-day Rakiura Track which is only one of many and varied walks and tramps available.
Bella Vista Invercargill has provided hospitality for many tourists on their return to Invercargill. A great shower and comfy bed to help relax the body after some fairly arduous tramping or exploring and ensure Bella Vista is the preferred overnight accommodation in Invercargill for Stewart Island.
Whether it is your first visit or 10th visit to Stewart Island you will never tire of this beautiful part of the world and we here at Bella Vista Invercargill are lucky enough to hear of some of those tales on return stays.
For more information on our 4-star quality, Southland Invercargill accommodation and trips to Stewart Island contact us on 03 217 9799. We look forward to hearing from you and hosting you.
Posted by Bella Vista on
With Easter, long weekends and holidays on their way, it’s time to start thinking about where to head to next. We’ve taken all the hard work out of it and uncovered your next exciting escape… Invercargill and Southland!
Some may question why would I want to travel to Invercargill? We’ll forgive you for your sins just this once, as you clearly are still to experience the unique possibilities and adventures on offer in this part of the world. Besides, Invercargill Bella Vista offers a great accommodation option. So let us enlighten you with a quick run down of what you could be doing very soon!
If you join us over the Easter Break, Invercargill holds its famous Riverton Easter Race Carnival. This event is one of the highlights of the racing calendar and offers a crazy, fun-filled day for all. With stalls, children's activities, food and wine and of course racing!
Alternatively, you could head to Bill Richardson's Transport World. Here you can discover unexpected treasures set out over 15,000 square metres. Some 50 years in the making, two expansive private collections have been lovingly put together to showcase vehicles, motorcycles, petrol pumps, wearable arts – vintage, retro, limited editions, you name it. Reminisce on history gone by, and appreciate the quirky nature of some in the collection. Designed with everyone in mind, this is a must see.
E Hayes and Sons is Invercargill's must-see destination. The World’s Fastest Indian – On display proudly in the E Hayes and Sons store, is an extensive and eclectic celebration of classic, vintage and modern motorcycles, automobiles, engines, equipment and memorabilia, including Burt Munro’s famous Worlds Fastest Indian. There’s nothing else quite like this anywhere and it’s free.
Southland Museum & Art Gallery is a great place to come and learn about the local history, legends, artifacts and art. This museum and gallery gives you an idea of what life was like in Southland in the past and how things have changed, while you’re there check out the Whaling and Antarctic memorabilia, it’s fascinating.
Queens Park located in the centre of Invercargill, offers peace, tranquility, gardens, fitness trail, golf course, free aviary, small animal area and even a 'selfie' exploration challenge! It’s an amazing space for all to share, so bring along your picnic lunch or morning coffee and explore.
Just an hours drive from Invercargill is Waipapa Point Lighthouse set on the rugged Catlins coastline marking the scene of New Zealands worst civilian shipwrek. It’s well worth the journey out as the spectacular scenery and waves crashing onto the rocks combined with this proud lighthouse make for some magnificent photo opportunities
Bluff Oyster Festival, 20th May 2017 – We all love them, and now’s your chance to indulge in their hometown location - Bluff!! Just a short drive from Invercargill, this festival sells out every year so you need to be quick. A fun-filled day of music, tastings, oyster opening and eating competitions, plus a vairety of other seafoods available if oysters aren’t your thing.
Day Trips or Overnight Excursions from Invercargill
?If you have time to stay longer, Invercargill is a perfect place to use as a base to to head further afield. Here are two of our favourite destinations.
Now this is something all kiwis should do! Stewart Island is a one hour ferry crossing from Bluff - approximately 20 min drive from Invercargill or a 20 minute flight from Invercargill Airport. Stewart Island is southern most island of New Zealand, lying 30km south of the South Island and stands at 1746 square km.
It’s a nature lovers paradise, with bird watchers coming from all over the world to see some of its rare and unusual species. One interesting fact about Stewart Island is there is approximately 20,000 Brown Kiwi that call the island home, that outnumbers the amount of people living there! Stewart Island offers tramps and walks of all different fitness levels and lengths, one popular walk is to Observation Rock, which gives dramatic sunset views.
Other things to do in Stewart Island are hunting, fishing, diving, the local museum, boating/cruising, fishing, shopping and kayaking. Stewart Island can easily be a day trip from Invercargill, alternatively there are over night accommodation options if you wish to stay longer.
Catlins Coastal Route
Located only an hours drive from Invercargill is the rugged and remote Catlins Coast. The scenery here is extraordinary and so diverse, you’ll travel through rural farmland, petrified forest, windswept coastline, cliffs, rock formations, waterfalls, plus you’ll see an abundance of wildlife.
The largest of the Catlins townships is Owaka with a population of almost 400 people, Other settlements in the district are Kaka Point, Pounawea, Tahakopa, Papatowai, Tokanui, Waikawa and Fortrose, most of these offer accommodation options if you choose to overnight in the area. If you get the opportunity, exploring the Catlins Coast is something pretty special. For us it’s a must see.
All of these activities and day trips listed above are easily accessible from Bella Vista Motel Invercargill. Our purpose built facilities are clean, modern and located close to Invercargill’s shopping, eating and dining options. Give Neil and his team a call and join us down here for a truly memorable holiday at an excellent Invercargill accommodation choice.
Posted by Bella Vista on
A quick review of 'Things to Do' on Trip Advisor for the Southland city of Invercargill highlights Bill Richardson's Transport World at a very credible #2*. Opening as recently as December 2015, the attraction has already accrued over 250 reviews, with 85% awarding the attraction an Excellent 5 star rating. Boasting New Zealand's largest world class collection of trucks, cars and other heritage motor vehicles, clearly this is the place to be when you're visiting.
If Bill Richardson's Transport World isn't spectacular enough, late last year, a new and amazing development took place.
Classic Motorcycle Mecca comes to Town
Situated in the inner city on Tay Street, the collection is home to nearly 300 motorcycles and motorcycle focused art. The collection ranges from a 1902 Peugeot motorcycle to a 21st Century Corbin Custom, plus brands such as AJS, Ariel, BMW, Brough Superior, Harley Davidson, Henderson, Indian, Matchless and Rudge.
Along with this amazing display, there is a cafe called "Meccaespresso" with food and decor being completely different to what is served at the celebrated Grille at Transport World.
Along with other city attractions and sights such as the Stadium Southland, Invercargill Velodrome, Southland Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Park just to mention a few, both Bill Richardson locations are world class.
Ladies, you might not think this is for you, but like Transport World it is ultra amazing. Regardless, if you have never visited Invercargill, you have a strong reason to now. You will not be disappointed!
Bella Vista Motel Invercargill is a perfect location to base yourself during your stay and as far as Invercargill accommodation rates, it is up there amongst the best options. Enjoy your choice of four different room types in this modern Invercargill motel.
* The number one rate attraction in Invercargill is E Hayes & Son which displays The World's Fastest Indian or Burt Munro fame. But that's another story.
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Founded in 1998, the Bella Vista Accommodation Network quickly spread across the country creating a comprehensive motel chain of 27 quality motels from Bella Vista Invercargill in the scenic south to Bella Vista Whangarei in the winter-less north.
Over the following 18 years, tens of thousands of guest nights and a good number of hearty breakfasts delivered, Bella Vista motels have welcomed visitors from right across New Zealand and the world. Whilst Bella Vista has been open for business, it has forged a strong reputation for convenience and quality becoming a preferred choice enabling tourists to visit New Zealand’s beautiful scenic locations, facilitating business travellers a convenient place to stay when criss-crossing the country for work and in all cases, a trusted overnight stop.
Whilst the Bella Vista story continues to unfold, a question was recently asked which stopped us dead in our tracks; “Has anyone stayed at all 27 Bella Vista motels?” A quick delve into our records was unable to offer any conclusive results. Even a poll amongst the Bella Vista team came up short. The record for the most Bella Vista motels stayed in by any one individual was 24. Only 24, that can’t be right!! As you can imagine, we’re now on the hunt for anyone who can claim to be part of what we imagine is a very exclusive group. Have you stayed at all 27 Bella Vista’s?
The geographic spread of the Bella Vista chain ensures that not only do most major New Zealand towns and cities feature properties, such as Bella Vista Christchurch or Bella Vista Dunedin, but so do popular tourist destinations such as Bella Vista Franz Josef and Bella Vista Queenstown. Do you travel for work and have decided to use our chain to cater for your accommodation? Perhaps you’ve decided to undertake a New Zealand road-trip similar to these itineraries and whilst touring, you have used our motel accommodation network? Possibly a mixture of both work and pleasure at different times?
What is certain is if you have stayed at every 27 or even just a small handful - whether it is Bella Vista Hamilton, Bella Vista Queenstown or Bella Vista Fox Glacier to name just three, you are going to experience a four star Qualmark endorsed level of comfort and be entertained by some of New Zealand’s very best hosts.
So tell us, how many Bella Vista motels have you stayed at? With 27 in the network it takes a certain type of loyalty and commitment to tick them all off.
If you have stayed at all 27, we want to hear from you!
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