About Invercargill Airport (IVC)
Address: 79 Airport Ave, Invercargill, 9879, Xx
Serving the southernmost city in New Zealand, Invercargill Airport (IVC) is located approximately 3 km (1.8 mi) east of Invercargill's historic central business district. Airport car rentals from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt, and Thrifty are situated near the baggage claim area of the terminal.
Boasting wide streets and scenic vistas, getting around Invercargill is a thoroughly laid-back experience. You won’t find any of the big city frustrations in this sedate capital of the Southland region. Surrounded by farmland, Invercargill is laid out on a simple grid of local roads, with State Highways 1 and 6 converging in the city center.
Public transportation consists of four bus routes that run every 45 minutes between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM, which isn’t even remotely close to ideal. Therefore, most visitors will have no choice but to rent a car. The city’s main hive of activity is centered at the intersection of Esk and Kelvin Streets, with the far western edge of the area reserved for pedestrians only. The region’s main attraction, Fjordland National Park (156 km / 93 mi east) is accessed by one lonely route — State Route 99 to Blackmount-Redcliff Road.
Getting out of Invercargill is as simple as jumping on Highway 1 to Dunedin (203 km / 120 mi), or Highway 6 for Queenstown (187 km / 116 mi). Your main concerns will revolve around driving in the left lane and understanding certain traffic signs. For example, the majority of bridges in New Zealand are single-lane. You’ll see a blue sign with one white arrow and one smaller red arrow. The white arrow indicates right of way. Otherwise, just keep an eye out for animals on rural routes and watch your speed in wintery conditions.
Choosing your car
For the lowest rates on a car hire at Invercargill Airport, look to a Toyota hybrid 2-door coupe. Hyundai economy and Kia compact 4-door sedans have great rates, too. You’ll get a good deal on standard and fullsize Mitsubishi sedans. For heading out on rural roads, you’ll definitely want to consider a Suzuki SUV. Families and groups will choose from Kia, Toyota, and Hyundai 7-9 seater minivans.
Tips and advice
For longer road trips, prevent driver’s fatigue by taking a break roughly every couple of hours — or 120 km.
If your GPS says it’s 2 hours to Dunedin, count on 2.5 hours of travel time at least. Although posted speed limits are 100 km/h on the highway, many roads are winding, curvy, and/or feature relatively steep inclines. Plan on an average travel speed of 75 km/h.
New Zealanders have a charming method to determine the safest speed on their winding roads. Place a round object in the passenger side footwell. If it begins rolling around, you’re probably going too fast.
Nearly all major intersections in Invercargill are roundabouts, traveling clockwise.
On two-lane highways, the white dividing line means it’s OK to overtake slower traffic. The yellow line means it’s not safe to pass other vehicles. Wait until you reach a stretch of road with the white line.
Many car hire providers offer free GPS in the rental plan. If it’s not mentioned, don’t be shy about asking.