Invercargill is New Zealand’s Sturgis

If you’re into motorcycles in America you’d head to Sturgis.  If you are in New Zealand, Invercargill is your place to be.  Invercargill have obviously taken local Burt Munro’s love for motorcycles and the whole town has embraced that love with a passion.

Burt Munro bike, Invercargill

They have an epic bike race on the beach that draws massive crowds each year, Motorcycle Mecca and E Hayes and Sons.  Not to mention all the rides that come down there.  It’s pretty cold down there for being on a bike – it’s brass monkey stuff.

E Hayes and Sons

When I think of a hardware store I think of the TV show, The Middle.  Every time one of the kids has a problem the Dad takes them down to the Hardware shop where the kids seem to relax and say what’s on their mind. 

A hardware shop is a place where you feel like you are in your element.  And this is a hardware shop like no other.

It’s a cross between a hardware store, a museum and a bit of MOTAT thrown in.

I really liked the old dirt bike…

E Hayes and Sons

And the old Harley Davidson.  It wasn’t so much a traditional Harley but more like something Evel Knievel would have jumped a whole lot of buses on.

As well as the bikes there were some beautiful cars…

I took pictures of bikes and cars but there were old tools there and all sorts.  And the stuff they sold was amazing.  It wasn’t just hardware – there was furniture, knick knacks, everything…

I spent 15 minutes in there but I could have spent a day in there.  I could have taken my lunch in there with me, or my children and their problems.

Clearly this is a place I didn’t have enough time to explore fully and I’m saving time next time I go back to spend longer.  It’s a special part of Invercargill.  Out of all the hardware stores I’d give it a ten out of ten and I wish my town had one.

You can find out more about them here.

Classic Motorcycle Mecca

When I was younger I used to go to MOTAT to see all the old bikes – this place is like MOTAT on steroids. 

It starts with some of the earliest creations of bikes crossed with mopeds to handmade motorbikes by John Britton.  It also had some of his earlier prototypes as well which I’d never seen.  Most of us have seen his classic racing bike, or been lucky enough to see it on the track.  When I see this bike I know what it sounds like after hearing it racing down the main street of Paeroa.

Classic Motorcycle Mecca

It’s about the size of a basketball arena and it’s two levels housing 300 rare and vintage motorcycles.

There are all types of motorcycles from all over the world.  There’s a lot on loan to the museum who know that their bikes are going to be loved.  When we walked in there was a guy dusting and polishing the bikes.

You’re never going to see this many classic motorcycles in one place so if you love motorcycles it’s a no brainer.

You’re not just going to see your well known bikes – there are all sorts from all around the world.

When we were there they were still making renovations so clearly the best is yet to come and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

You can find out more about them here.

Classic Motorcycle Mecca

 

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