A unique feature of Southland’s climate is our long summer nights: we enjoy more daylight hours than any other part of the country. At the summer solstice, we have nearly 16 hours of daylight! That means you can get out and about and make the most of your leisure time in New Zealand.
On a dark, clear night, you may be able to witness the world famous Aurora Australis – the Southern Lights. This magical atmospheric condition results when particles from the sun interact with the earth’s magnetic field. The resulting electric charge makes the gases in the atmosphere glow red, yellow and green. It’s a truly spectacular sight to see.
Welcome to our city
Invercargill, Southland’s capital, is a city 55,000-strong. It is big enough to cater for your lifestyle needs, yet small enough to provide a stable and friendly atmosphere in which to focus on your study.
Invercargill is New Zealand’s western-most city and the commercial heart of Southland. It is a flat and spacious city situated just minutes from the coast; Oreti Beach is just ten minutes drive from SIT. It’s easy to find your way around and enjoy a variety of shops, restaurants and cafes.
With excellent shopping, lively cafes, restaurants and bars, a combination of cultural attractions and outstanding nature reserves and parks, Invercargill has all the benefits of city life.
Our city is home to a wide range of sporting and cultural facilities, including the Civic Theatre, indoor stadium and cycling velodrome, Olympic size pool, and countless parks and sport grounds. The variety and number of heritage buildings in the city centre add to Invercargill’s character.
Accommodation and living costs are considerably lower than in other major cities in New Zealand. There is a progressive increase in the number of students, migrants and tourists coming from all corners of the world.
Invercargill is favourably placed on the Southern Scenic Route and is the gateway to some of New Zealand's most beautiful scenery and destinations including the Southland heartland, Stewart Island, Queenstown, Fiordland and the Catlins.
The City of Invercargill invites you to experience the warmth, friendliness and hospitality that makes it such a great place to live.
Living in Southland brings a wealth of lifestyle opportunities, including the many events that are held each year.
Shakespeare in the Park Held in Invercargill’s Queens Park, the annual Shakespeare in the Park festival showcases some of Shakespeare’s best works in an interactive outdoor environment.
Southland Festival of the Arts The Southland Festival of the Arts showcases outstanding imported and local arts activities in a range of genres: theatre, music, dance, literary arts and galleries.
Tour of Southland This annual event captivates the country as road cyclists from around the world participate in this six-day stage race right across Southland.
Southland Buskers Festival The annual Southland Buskers Festival sees buskers from around the world descend on Invercargill for several days of humorous hijinks. You can’t miss it!
International Food Festival This annual event – growing by the year – gives you the opportunity to tantalise your taste buds with food and entertainment from around the world.
Surf to City Race Run, walk or bike this 12 kilometre fun race which starts from Oreti Beach and ends up in the centre of the city at Queens Park.
Bluff Oyster Festival The world famous Bluff Oyster Festival is a chance to taste some of the freshest oysters plucked out of the ocean before they are exported around the world.
There is a wealth of other recreation and cultural activities held during the year, including international and national sports competitions, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a number of shows and performances, and popular New Zealand bands and singers. You can find out what other events are going on at www.southlandnz.com.