Motorcycle enthusiasts will have a new reason to find their way to Invercargill, as New Zealand’s southern city builds a reputation as a must-do destination for anyone interested in transport heritage.
The opening of The Classic Motorcycle Mecca coincides with the visit of global motoring superstar Guy Martin to Invercargill and the 2016 Burt Munro Challenge. Guy Martin is set to officially open Classic Motorcycle Mecca in the days leading up to the event.
The new attraction is set to open to the public from 10 am on Wednesday, 23 November 2016.
The opening of Classic Motorcycle Mecca is the culmination of a large scale development project that has taken over six months to complete.
Tourism Operations Manager, Hannah Whyte says “A huge amount of work has gone into getting it ready and we hope our guests will really enjoy what they see. It’s going to be such a great few days in Invercargill and we couldn’t have got a better time to open with this year’s Burt Munro Challenge and Guy Martin’s visit.”
Invercargill is already home to the Bill Richardson Transport World which is now expanding its extensive specialist offerings with the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle collection transporting the city to the top of motor enthusiasts’ bucket lists.
Less than a year ago, Bill Richardson Transport World – the largest private collection of its type in the world - opened its doors to the public, and the Richardson legacy has now been extended by the addition of this significant collection of classic motorbikes to Invercargill.
Originally housed in Nelson, the motorcycle collection has moved south for a permanent new home in the centre of Invercargill at 25 - 27 Tay Street. The Classic Motorcycle Mecca will include a cafe called Meccaspresso.
The Sturgess motorcycle collection is billed as a world-class attraction featuring close to 300 motorcycles and motorcycle-focused art.
The collection ranges from a 1902 Peugeot motorcycle to a 21st Century Simms Corbin Custom and includes brands such as AJS, Ariel, BMW, Brough Superior, Harley Davidson, Henderson, Indian, Matchless, Rudge as well as little known brands such as the Schwinn and Zundapp.
Although the collection will be housed in a different site to Bill Richardson Transport World, the two will be a double delight for motor enthusiasts. Not just for truck enthusiasts either, Transport World was designed to have something for everyone and includes family play zones, wearable art fashion exhibits and a theatre.
Scott O’Donnell from Transport World says “we are very pleased to be bringing this collection to Invercargill and believe it is a perfect complement to our existing Transport World experience and, Invercargill, given its strong links to motorbikes.”
Invercargill also happens to be the home of Burt Munro, a New Zealand motorcycle racer, famous for setting a world speed record in 1967. Munro’s story was brought to life in the 2005 feature film The World’s Fastest Indian starring Sir Anthony Hopkins.
The Burt Munro Challenge
Following the success of the movie, the Southland Motorcycle Club created the Burt Munro Challenge to honour Burt, his ingenuity, determination, and love of speed and motorcycles.
The inaugural event was held in 2006, and it has since forged a name for itself as one of New Zealand’s major motorsport events.
The Burt Munro Challenge features hill climbs, super X, Indian Motorcycle NZ Beach Racing Champs, Circuit Racing, street races and a speedway spectacular.
It attracts top New Zealand riders as well as weekend warriors, and provides a variety of exciting events, entertainment and famous southern hospitality.
The 2016 edition of the Burt Munro Challenge runs from 24 – 27 November, at Oreti Park, Dunns Road, Otatara, Invercargill.
Bill Richardson Transport World
Bill Richardson Transport World is the largest private collection of its type in the world.
A prominent Invercargill businessman, the late Bill Richardson had a lifelong fascination with trucks which grew into a spectacular collection of vehicles. At the time of his passing in 2005, Bill had over 170 vehicles. Until recently the collection could only be viewed by private appointment but thanks to the hard work of his daughter Jocelyn, who shares his passion, the collection found a permanent home and has been open to the public since December 2o15.
There are over 250 vehicles on display at Transport World and the collection continues to grow. New vehicles both restored and unrestored find their way to the museum, and today visitors will find a mix of trucks, rare vintage vehicles, racing cars, wearable fashion and children’s entertainment.
The collection is a mixture of rare and internationally significant vehicles, as well as vehicles and pieces that hold a special connection to the family.
Some extremely rare vehicles live at Bill Richardson Transport World including a Stewart 1 ton truck, the only one of its kind in the world. A fully restored Dodge Airflow Texaco Tanker, one of only three in the world, is a popular attraction along with an extensive collection of Henry Ford’s early alphabet cars and VW Kombi vans.
Invercargill, located in the southern reaches of New Zealand’s South Island, is the largest city in the Southland region. New Zealand’s southernmost region is a sparsely populated area of sprawling farms, trout-fishing rivers and untouched natural expanses.
Invercargill offers legendary southern hospitality and a base to explore beautiful wild destinations like the Catlins Coast and Curio Bay.
Bluff, a fishing port south of Invercargill, is famous for its oysters - a traditional New Zealand delicacy harvested from the chilled waters of the southern ocean. Bluff is also the gateway to Stewart Island or Rakiura, New Zealand’s third largest island and a haven for native bird life such as the iconic kiwi, kereru (native wood pigeon), bellbird, tui and rare saddleback.
The Southland region has many diverse hiking routes, from short walks to multi-day treks and is one of New Zealand’s most pristine environments.
Invercargill is New Zealand's most southern city. The airport is serviced by flights from major New Zealand airports but one of the most popular ways to arrive in the city is by road on the Southern Scenic Route which travels from Dunedin to Invercargill via the spectacular Catlins Coast.