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From the beginning the city, built on flat ground, was designed to impress by its spaciousness. The roads in the city centre are wide and Queens Park is a large area near the centre of the city.

As the population grew, fine buildings were erected and Invercargill people have ensured that many of these buildings like the Masonic Lodge building still witness to the city's architectural heritage. A walk entitled "Historic Invercargill" is set out in a brochure which gives the history of a number of the city's most interesting buildings.

Invercargill -  The Masonic Temple building in Forth Street
Invercargill - The Masonic Temple building in Forth Street - Credit- Peter Hunt

Invercargill has a Licensing Trust which ensures that the profits from the sale of alcohol are used in projects to benefit the community. The Licensing Trust has a monopoly on the development of licensed premises and associated accommodation in the Invercargill area. It has contributed from its profits to many cultural, sports and welfare bodies, including the Library, the Southland Art Gallery, the Surrey Park Grandstand Appeal.

The Southern Institute of Technology has provided for students an opportunity unique in New Zealand - the Zero Fee Scheme, made possible by funding from the Community Trust of Southland, the Invercargill Licensing Trust, the Invercargill City Council, the Southland District Council, and the Gore District Council. This has led to an influx of students to Invercargill.

Invercargill -  The Jessie Calder Memorial Rose Garden at Queens Park
Invercargill - The Jessie Calder Memorial Rose Garden at Queens Park - Credit- Peter Hunt

Queens Park has lovely gradens and for those who want sporting facilities there are a bowling club, a croquet club, a cricket ground, and a golf course. Children are catered for with a playground and a splash pool.

Invercargill -  Southland Museum and Art Gallery
Invercargill - Southland Museum and Art Gallery - Credit- Peter Hunt

The Southland Museum and Art Gallery are in a building on the edge of Queens Park and will catch the attention of all who visit the area as it is in the form of a huge pyramid.

Invercargill -  One of Invercargill's tuatara
Invercargill - One of Invercargill's tuatara - Credit- Peter Hunt

A special feature of the museum is the tuatarium inhabited by fifty live tuatara. The breeding programme has been very successful. Tuatara are now found only on the offshore islands or in captivity on the New Zealand mainland. Their environment in the museum simulates their natural environments. Visitors to Queens Park can see the tuatara even when the museum is closed as there is a bullet-proof window in their area through which they can be viewed even at night.

From Invercargill the traveller can easily carry on to Bluff and go across to Stewart Island.

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