Compare Invercargill Car Rental Deals
Big savings on car hire at Invercargill Airport
Compare the best Invercargill Airport car rental deals from Apex, Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, Europcar, and Ezi Rentals.
* Some rental car suppliers may charge a credit card fee for amounts payable on arrival.
Car Hire Options at Invercargill Airport
There's a small number of car hire companies operating at Invercargill Airport. You'll find them all here and can easily compare their best deals in one place. This means you don't have waste time trawling the Internet looking for options. Or have to pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the airport rental counter.
To maximise your savings it's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods. Just put your travel details into the Search box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices.
On-Airport Rental Brands
"On-Airport" means these rental companies have check-in desks within the airport terminal.
The big advantage of this for you is convenience and speed. Once you've checked in you can jump in your car and get going. No waiting around for transfer vans.
Car rental counters are located inside the terminal.
Use our price comparison search tool to find the best prices for these on-airport car rental brands at Invercargill Airport:
Off-Airport Rental Brands
"Off-Airport" companies don't have check-in desks within the airport. This means you'll need to make your way to their depot to check in and collect your car.
Currently, Apex Car Rental is the only off-airport car rental brand we offer. On arrival at Invercargill Airport, phone Apex to advise you are ready for pick-up, then wait outside the terminal for the Apex courtesy transfer. The Apex rental office is just a one minute drive from the terminal building.
Use our price comparison search tool to find the best prices for these off-airport car rental brands at Invercargill Airport:
Maximum Choice. Best Deals.
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Invercargill Airport Car Hire Tips
Why renting a car makes sense
There's no public transport from the airport into Invercargill; however, shuttles and taxis are available. Depending on the number in your party, shuttles are generally cheaper than taxis.
The cost of a shuttle depends on the number of passengers and your destination. But being a shared-ride can mean it's a slow trip with multiple stops as people get dropped off en route.
Taxis have the advantage of being quicker, but are typically more expensive than shuttles.
Depending on your travel plans, a rental car may well be a more cost effective option for you consider. In addition, having a rental car gives you the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace and roam further afield exploring the area. We have some suggestions at the bottom of the page.
Driving from the airport
Invercargill Airport is to the west of Invercargill and a little over 3 km from the CBD. It's a short drive that usually takes just 5 minutes.
Once you've collected your rental car, follow Airport Ave out of the airport for 1 km and at the T intersection turn left onto Stead Street. At the roundabout continue straight ahead onto Tead Street. Follow the road for 1.1 km and at the next roundabout turn left into Conon Street. Follow this northwards for 0.5 km into the centre of Invercargill.
Return with a full tank
Stop at a nearby petrol station and top up the tank before returning your vehicle. The extra 5 or 10 minutes this takes will definitely save you money.
If you return the car with the tank not full then the rental company will charge a high price to top up the tank. These charges can be excessive, such as a $2.50 a litre surcharge on top of the fuel cost. Not a nice surprise to later find this charge on your credit card.
Topping up your rental car's tank before you drop it off back at the depot is not a problem. Being close to town means there are plenty of petrol stations nearby.
Attractions around invercargill
A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring the Southland region from Invercargill. Here are a few of the many attractions you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the Invercargill Tourism website....
Just 10 km west of central Invercargill, Oreti Beach is easily reached in your rental car. It’s one of three bays on the Foveaux Strait coastal stretch, between Toetoes and Te Waewae bays.
When you first set eyes upon this 26 km stretch of smooth sand you’ll see why this was Burt Munro’s preferred test ground and racing track. This is where the Southland man practised riding on his Indian motorbike, which then went on to break world records for land speed at the Bonneville salt flats in Utah, in the USA. No surprise, then, that Oreti Beach was a key filming location for the movie about Munro’s life, The World’s Fastest Indian.
Head toward the southern end of Oreti Beach and you will come across Sandy Point. There was once a whaling station here, set up in the 1800s, although it was short-lived, along with a Maori settlement by the name of Oue.
This natural reserve is ideal for exploring on foot, mountain bike, or even on horseback. There are more than a dozen welcoming biking tracks, and 13 km worth of various walking trails, all well signposted. Sand dunes coexist with forests of matai, totara, rimu and miro. Along with the marshes and mudflats and the banks of the Oreti River, conditions are perfect for masses of plant and animal life alike.
Bring your surfboard along too because there are several good spots to get out among the waves. While the breaks are good the ocean can be cold so be prepared!
Head out to Stirling Point, the southernmost point on the mainland, and snap a picture at its iconic signpost. The much-photographed signpost is one of New Zealand’s most well-known landmarks; it displays the distance to major cities in the world such as Tokyo, Sydney and New York (as well as more esoteric destinations like the South Pole and equator!).
From Stirling Point, you can embark on a scenic walk. The two-hour Foveaux Walk guides you around the southern coast line, towards Lookout Point for great views out over Foveaux Strait. The one-hour Topuni Track leads from Stirling Point to Bluff Hill, past a historic WWII gun emplacement. This also meets up with the Glory Track, which in turn leads to the Foveaux Walkway. From Lookout Point, there’s the Millennium Track that goes to Bluff Hill, as well as the Ocean Beach Track that leads to its namesake.
These trails span a variety of scrub, private farmland and native bush (complete with lots of native birdlife). A walk to the top of Bluff Hill is a must for panoramic views over the peninsula, beaches and rocky coastline, Foveaux Strait and out to Stewart Island/Rakiura. Driving to the summit of Bluff Hill is also an option.
Stirling Point is located in Bluff — just half an hour from Invercargill in your rental car. It is at the far southern end of State Highway 1, which runs the full length of New Zealand up to Cape Reinga in the north. Stirling Point was originally named after Captain William Stirling, who established a nearby whaling station in the early 19th century.
The Catlins coast lies along the southeastern corner of the South Island (about an hour and a half from Invercargill in your rental car). This untouched and remote part of the country is well worth visiting — there’s so much waiting to be discovered.
The landscapes of the Catlins are rife with rugged rocky coastline, sweeping sandy beaches and lush green hills; waterfalls, estuaries and valleys.
At Nugget Point you’ll find a lighthouse dating back to the 1800s, overlooking the scattered rocks that gave the place its name. There’s a fur seal colony that you can look down to, and during the summer months, elephant seals have been known to stop over in this area. Also look out for Hector’s dolphins, Hooker’s sea lions, and three different species of penguin.
Curio Bay conceals an ancient fossilised forest, dating back over 100 million years to the Jurassic period when New Zealand was still part of Gondwanaland. Visit at low tide, when the forest is best seen from the viewing platform. Yellow-eyed penguins come ashore here in the later afternoon, and at nearby Porpoise Bay dolphins are a common sight in the summer.
The impressive Purakaunui Falls cascade prettily over three levels and a depth of 20 metres. Set within beech and podocarp forest, it’s a great spot for photography. There are viewing platforms at both the top and the bottom of the falls.
There’s Jack’s Blowhole, a magnificent sight: 55 metres deep and 200 metres inland. This cavity was formed when the roof of a giant subterranean cave collapsed. Now, when the tide is in, waves gush through the tunnel and erupt up out of the blowhole, with a roaring sound and explosive appearance. From this area, you’ll also enjoy spectacular views over the coast, all the way down to Penguin Bay and beyond.
One of the best-known attractions in all of the Catlins is the majestic Cathedral Caves. Named for their resemblance to old European-style churches, they tower more than 30 metres overhead. Test out your whistling skills or singing voice as the resounding acoustics here are really quite remarkable. The Cathedral Caves are only accessible at low tide and there is a small entrance fee because access is via private land.
Dig This Invercargill
The country’s only heavy machinery playground is just a five-minute drive from Invercargill’s CBD, a place where you can get behind the wheel of a digger, skid steer or bulldozer and rip, push, pull and smash stuff. Kids five and over can operate a mini digger (a 1.7-tonne stationary digger); heavier machines have higher age restrictions. You’ll be fully instructed by the Dig This team, and you don’t even need to have a driver’s licence to take part (although everyone’s breath-tested before they get behind the wheel).
If not everyone in your group wants to participate, that’s fine, too. The Dig This viewing platform accommodates up to 100 onlookers, and there’s a sandpit where the littlest ones can play.
Mini diggers are a good introduction to heavy machinery, suitable for children five and up as well as grown-ups, and those with disabilities. Other options include the Aggression Session, where you get to crush a car (they say it’s more fun than therapy!), Big Dig (operate a 15-tonne digger, play digger basketball, and do 360-degree spins), and Big Push (get behind a 15-tonne bulldozer and destroy everything in your path).
Wearing light layers is recommended, and you’ll need to wear closed-toe shoes. You’ll also need to have a good comprehension of spoken English (so that you can follow what your instructor is telling you while you’re on the field).
Dig This Invercargill is part of Transport World and is located at 84 Otepuni Ave, Invercargill.