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Invercargill, New Zealand

Demolition World

An eerily charming collection of salvaged buildings and curios grown out of a family scrap business. 

Part salvage yard, part ghost town, part scruffy Westworld, this eccentric “village” springs from one couple’s fascination with stuff, and their wish to take fellow treasure hunters on a journey through shared imagination.

Demolition World is an extension of David and Lee Fallow’s family scrap business. Their collection, curated and staged as a mysterious small town, comes from years of buying and selling salvage, building demo, rescuing and recycling old structures, and scooping up stock overruns.

Beginning in 2003, they hit on an eerily charming way for customers to peruse it all, by elaborately set decorating their little corner of southern New Zealand.

The familiar and the exotic create a carefully assembled community here, including an entirely rebuilt church (where a bride with golden ringlets is left at the altar), a pioneer kitchen, a toy shop, an imaginary medical and dental clinic (best to leave that one to the imaginary health department), and a medieval banquet attended by utterly bored metallic mannequins.

The mannequin population also includes rare vintage models, some from as early as the 1940s, including a line-up of rainbow-haired beauties hanging from the rafters. If they don’t creep you out enough, feel free to poke around for the puppets.

Despite an air of general creepiness, Demolition World—just like the owners—is jovial and welcoming, where stories of the collection and creation of the little town flow freely. As Lee Fallow likes to say: You never know what you might find… “A little poetry perhaps.”

Know Before You Go

Demolition World is on the south side of Invercargill, which is at the very southern end of New Zealand. There's no fee to come or look around, but you can leave a donation in a box if you like. Parking spaces are available.