Starbucks south

Starbucks south

Starbucks south

New Zealand
12 Oct 2017

The world’s southernmost Starbucks

If you were looking for a Starbucks south of Invercargill, you’d be looking in vain. The world’s most southerly Starbucks is on Esk Street, number 55.

I had a look around Invercargill. A friend said that if you are there three hours, you’ve seen everything, but that’s nowhere close to being true. A few metres away from Starbucks is the World’s Fastest Indian, and there are vintage motorcycle museums in multiple places here.

Starbucks south

Starbucks southThe botanic gardens are world class – think Kew in England – and there are some remarkable examples of municipal architecture and street art. There are some excellent seafood restaurants – sadly, I did not find the perfect fish and chips in Invercargill – but if you want to try out boutique breweries, you could spend a merry evening or two sampling all the varieties on offer here.

Starbucks south

Starbucks south

I’m a bit of a Starbucks nut. I collect their souvenir mugs, much to the despair of my wife, and the chance to acquire an Invercargill mug and have a steaming coffee was too good to pass up.

I was heartbroken to discover that either the cafe has sold out of the souvenir mugs, or they don’t have any, for the merchandise display was bereft. Sure, they had some generic crockery and bags of coffee, but not the item I was after.

Starbucks southA tall flat white restored my spirits. I sat down beside what resembled a crackling wood fire and drank in the atmosphere. Beside me, a pole held various direction signs for Starbucks outlets, including one for the most distant Starbucks from Invercargill: Aberdeen, which I have visited. And bought the souvenir mug.

As an aside, Aberdeen is a way short of being the most northerly Starbucks. I must visit Anchorage, Alaska one day.

Empire City

It is a little odd here, in what must be the most distant city of the old British Empire, to find familiar themes. The war memorials, the Scottish street names, the architecture reminiscent of Imperial Britain, the photographs of the young Queen visiting in 1954.

In some ways, Invercargill has remained a bastion of post-war Britain. England moved on in the Sixties, the UK joined the Common Market, but New Zealand was often said to be more British than Britain. Christchurch is unashamedly English, Dunedin is a Scottish theme park, and Invercargill, well it’s a working town full of British folk who felt right at home under grey and drizzling skies.

I shall return one day. I want to walk with my wife in the gardens and take her further south, to the wilderness areas and untouched rainforests of Stewart Island.

I drained my coffee, went out onto Esk Street, turned left on Dee, and headed down towards Forth and Tyne. There are also streets named Tay and Spey. And if you ever get tired of the boutique beer in the pubs, they all have excellent collections of single malts. Just sayin’.

I’m a sucker for Starbucks because I know that without local knowledge as to the best coffee places in a new town, I can always find acceptable coffee there. Where do you go for your coffee fix in a strange land?

PeteStarbucks south



  1. I watched ‘The Worlds Fastest Indian’ movie the other day so know a lot about this bike! I have been to the Starbucks in Anchorage. I had no idea the most southerly was in New Zealand, that is a bucket list item.

  2. I must admit I’m not so much a fan of Starbucks, but the post was quite interesting nonetheless! I love coffee too, so maybe that’s it. Also, I can appreciate a good flat white brightening your spirits, sometimes that’s all ya need.

    New Zealand always seemed pretty darn British to me (except for maybe their greater love of coffee than I think would be typical for Brits) – and of course, it makes sense that the drab gray and rainy weather plays a role 😀

    In strange places, I always find time in the train station, airport, or my accommodations to do a bit of research for cafes and coffee spots. I know I love getting in a quick cup before setting out to explore the city – it’s just part of my routine now! Rain or shine, I’ll try and find a spot. If I can’t, yea Starbucks or another chain will have to cut it. It is decent coffee, but I prefer to find a central local coffee spot to begin my introduction to the city properly.

    If you’re ever in Munich, I could point you to a few great coffee cafes. Luckily for us though, there’s good coffee all over, and a few great spots dotted throughout. Cheers!

    1. Knowing a good local coffee shop is gold. Much as I like Starbucks, I prefer a place where the coffee is good, fresh, and the barista knows what they are doing.

  3. 1) the last place I’ll ever go, in any country, for coffee is Starbucks. Unless I was in a train station and needed somewhere with wifi and/or air conditioning to kill time
    2) I love the move with Anthony Hopkins on the World’s Fastest Indian- very cool little bit of touristic memorabilia there!

  4. Lol, i will admit I get my tea fox and starbucks knowing that they will make it just right no matter where I go. How interesting how they took initiative to make this branch so special.

  5. There’s a Starbucks in the hospital where I work, so I see it every day and smell it ever day as well. I have to say, it’s really hard to stay away. I don’t drink coffee, but there are so many other options that draw me to the long lines. I remember visiting the 1st Starbucks in Seattle and buying a mug as well. So much fun!

  6. When I am on vacation and if I feel like drinking coffee I will go to any place that is local. To me coffee is coffe is coffee. I am not picky especially when all I drink is black coffee. It would be cool to say I have been to either the most northerly or southernly Starbucks in the world.

  7. Not much of a Starbucks fan, but we do love coffee. 🙂 I have a friend who is a Starbucks fan; she collects mugs, coasters, planners, and even their coffee stirring sticks! I sometimes ask her for the sticks as they make perfect fences for my dioramas. The directional sign is an interesting touch.

  8. I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand. Now I have another reason. This seems like such a cool place to stop. I love Starbucks, but not for coffee, my kids and I love the hot chocolate in the winter.

  9. I avoid Starbucks at all costs unless I’m desperate. One doesn’t simply not drink coffee 😉 I’m also really boring with my coffee choices – black or with a smidge of half & half. With that said that coffee fix can be found almost anywhere. A coffee house Tromso, Norway was the most unique place I enjoyed a cup.

  10. Nursing a coffee at the World’s southernmost Starbucks must indeed be a thrilling experience. Bad luck, you were not able to get the coffee mug that you wanted. Probably, when you get to Anchorage you will get what you desire.

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