If you are looking for spectacular scenery, some amazing places to visit, with a wide range of attractions, activities and South Island adventure, dominating the South Island of New Zealand should be your next stop. Visitors can explore the area’s glaciers via helicopter, watch for wildlife like whales and penguins, tour the region’s wineries and stargaze on top of Mount Cook. The island’s many lakes and parks also invite travelers to kayak, sail, hike and bike to soak up every bit of New Zealand nature. Since there are so many things to choose from, we’ve found the best 7… read on and get packing…
New Zealand’s number one all year round alpine resort, magnificently located besides Lake Wakatipu in the Southern Alps, Queenstown has every adventure activity imaginable. You could try your hand at jetboating, white water rafting or bungee jumping. In winter try skiing at the nearby ski resorts of the Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
Christchurch, New Zealand is the largest city and main gateway to the South Island of New Zealand and is often referred to as the “Garden City”, with its picturesque parks and gardens. Take a ride on the Christchurch Tram, go punting on the Avon River as it winds its way through Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens.
3- Marlborough region
Famous for wine and food, as well as the nearby nature lovers paradise of the Marlborough Sounds. Marlborough is world famous for Sauvignon Blanc wine and visiting one of the wineries is a must. Outdoor pursuits including swimming with the dolphins, fishing, hiking or kayaking in the Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds.
4- Aoraki – Mount Cook
New Zealand’s highest mountain is a great place to base yourself for scenic flights over Mt Cook and the glaciers, hiking, excellent fly fishing, 4WD trips or taking a glacier boat trip on the Tasman Glacier lake. You can visit the Sir Edmund Hilary mountaineering center, or try star gazing in the evening.
5- Hanmer Springs
Here you can stay and relax in the famous Thermal Hot Springs and Spa, have a massage, or spend time browsing the boutique shops in the village. Hanmer Springs is also great for mountain biking, hiking or walking on the forest trails, taking a jetboat ride or even bungee jumping.
6- Stewart Island
Stewart Island is strictly speaking not part of the South Island, but is instead New Zealand’s third largest island. It is rarely visited by the first time visitor to New Zealand. As a result, it has managed to maintain its unspoilt natural charm. Stewart Island is a haven for nature enthusiasts with opportunities for bird watching, fishing, hiking and kayaking.
Located on one of the most spectacular scenic coastal drives in the world, Punakaiki is famous for the world-renowned Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.