Sports and the Outdoors in Invercargill


Sports and the Outdoors

Take a picture of yourself on some of the world's southernmost beaches and send it home. But Invercargill doesn't exactly have perfect tanning weather. Even during summer, the south can still get a few chilly days.

Oreti Beach. Oreti Beach, 11 km (7 miles) southeast of town, is too rough for swimming, but people do surf and windsurf here, taking advantage of the wind and swells that whip the coast almost constantly. The annual Burt Munro Challenge in November sees motorcycles hurtle across the sand as riders pit their wits and machines against one another in honor of local hero and motorcycle land speed record holder from whom the race gets its name. Amenities: none. Best for: solitude; surfing; walking; windsurfing. Dunns Rd., Invercargill, 9810.

Sandy Point. A good walking spot is Sandy Point, which can be reached by taking a left after crossing the Oreti River on the way out to Oreti Beach. A 13-km (8-mile) network of easygoing trails covers the riverbanks, estuary, and the bush. A leaflet detailing the paths is available from the Invercargill visitor information center. Sandy Point Rd., Invercargill, 9810.

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track. On the western side of the Southern Scenic Route, the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is a challenging, circular three-day, two-night walk that combines beach, bush, and subalpine environments in its 53 km (33 miles). The track starts near Tuatapere, about two hours' drive west of Invercargill and right on the edge of the Fiordland National Park. It's no amble; you'll spend about nine hours walking each day, but two good huts each sleep about 40 people. You'll need to buy hut tickets in advance. Guided walks begin at NZ$175; reservations are required. 31 Orawia Rd., Tuatapere, Invercargill, 9620. 03/226–6739.

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