Soaring snow-capped mountains, stunning coastlines, tumbling glaciers and tranquil fiordland are but a few of the attractions. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled and your camera fully charged, because holidays to South Island, New Zealand truly are the ultimate destination for scenery and adventure.
These dramatic landscapes are not just a feast for the eyes – they also offer a huge range of activities. If you’re feeling adventurous, try climbing a glacier on the West Coast. With hikes ranging from beginner level to the more advanced, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the stunning sights of these frozen landscapes. For those keen on watersports, try kayaking with seals in the scenic Abel Tasman National Park or for a more relaxing adventure, cruise the fiords in Milford or Doubtful Sounds.
South Island highlights
South Island holidays allow you to experience the thrills of a lifetime as you swim with dolphins, catch a glimpse of seals or whale watch in Kaikoura. Fascinating sperm whales come to feed in this water, which means they can be spotted all year round. The town’s restaurants are also the best place on South Island to grab some delicious freshly caught crayfish.
In South Island, seafood is available in abundance. Marlborough is known as the ‘green lipped mussel capital of the world’, while Southland is the best place to dine on the juiciest Bluff oysters. However, the land creates culinary delights just as much as the sea, with fresh New Zealand lamb available in most restaurants. There are also five different wine regions in South Island, so you’ll never be without a local wine to perfectly pair with your meal. The largest area of wineries and vineyards can be found in Marlborough, with over 40 cellar doors available to visit on foot, driving or on a bike tour.
Nicknamed ‘The Garden City’, South Island’s biggest city, Christchurch offers a lively buzz, without missing out on any of the infamous scenery. Blissful afternoons can be spent wandering the many parks in the city, each as brightly coloured and packed with flowers as the next.
In Christchurch, you can pick up the TranzAlpine train, which takes you through a huge range of spectacular scenery to Arthurs Pass, and on to Greymouth. The views from the journey alone are worth getting on board, offering the chance to relax in comfort while soaking up fascinating sights of the Waimakiriri River Gorge, the Southern Alps, and the Old Bruner Mines.
The list of things to do in South Island, New Zealand is almost endless. You can't help but be awe inspired by the dramatic landscape.