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Do Smart Travellers Now Prefer Invercargill?

Do Smart Travellers Now Prefer Invercargill to 'nasty' Queenstown?

New Zealand might pack half of its overseas visitors through Queenstown, but Queenstown's not the only place to be based. Just down SH 6, Invercargill's the gateway to plenty of tourist experiences of its own.

Backpackers and freedom campers are less likely to be hassled, and are deserting an increasingly congested and nasty Queenstown for Invercargill, in droves.

But is Invercargill about to repeat some of the mistakes of Auckland and Australia's ticky-tacky Gold Coast, as satirised in the Australian film Muriel's Wedding with the slogan 'You Can't Stop Progress'?:

Is a city famous for its beautiful Victorian parks and old buildings at risk of killing the goose that lays at least some of the golden eggs?

A massive urban renewal project is intended to transform the city's oldest and most historic block into a 21st century office, shopping and parking complex.

But is the loss of an eye-watering number of listed and scheduled buildings still the price of progress?

What will be the effect on potential tourism spillovers from Queenstown, where tourists currently spend forty times more than in Invercargill, if Invercargill becomes more bland and corporate and turns its back on its urban heritage?

Mary Jane asks these questions in her new blog post '46 South going on 47: Invercargill and Bluff' and its appendix, 'From Heritage, to Glass and Girders?'

And she goes on to describe her latest adventures in the city and the nearby port town of Bluff, where she climbs Bluff Hill, known as Motupōhue in Māori, the Isle of Vines.


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