Experts in Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific

South Island Holidays

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.  

Iconic cities

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. 

What to do in South Island

Take a look at all the escorted tours and excursions on offer for your next trip to South Island.

Choose your adventures

Places to stay in South Island

From self-catered apartments to all-inclusive luxury hotels, find the ideal accommodation for your South Island holiday.

Choose your accommodation

Where to go

What kind of holiday experiences are you looking for?

Select your travel interests to find the experiences you’ll love.

a body of water with a mountain in the background
Queenstown

Queenstown

a flock of birds flying over a body of water
Wanaka

Wanaka

a group of people standing next to a body of water
Kaikoura

Kaikoura

West Coast and Glaciers

West Coast and Glaciers

a tree with a mountain in the background
Marlborough Sounds Picton

Picton and Marlborough Sounds

a body of water with Milford Sound in the background
Te Anau Fiordland

Te Anau and Fiordland

Recommended experiences

What kind of holiday experiences are you looking for?

Select your travel interests to find the experiences you’ll love.

New Zealand voyage

New Zealand Voyage

18 Day Suggested Itinerary
From £5,749 per person

Discover all that New Zealand has to offer on this 17 day itinerary, taking you through the heart of this spectacular country.

Great for
  • Adventure
  • Beaches & boats
  • City sights
  • Culture & history
  • Self-drives
  • Wildlife & nature
a man in a boat on a body of water

Canterbury Wildlife

7 Day Self Drive
From £744 per person

This self-drive highlights some of New Zealand's most unique wildlife, including the majestic sperm whales which inhabit the waters just off Kaikoura all year round.

Great for
  • Adventure
  • Beaches & boats
  • Self-drives
  • Wildlife & nature
a small boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

2 Day Escorted Tour
From £265 per person

Join the crew of the Fiordland Navigator to cruise through Doubtful Sound on an overnight adventure; view the wilderness scenery and wildlife of the Sound.

Great for
  • Adventure
  • Beaches & boats
  • Wildlife & nature
a pool next to a body of water

Abel Tasman Kayak and Walk Tour

3 Day Guided Walk & Kayak
From £949 per person

A fantastic way to experience the picturesque coastlines of Abel Tasman National Park; walk through mature beech forests and paddle past golden beaches.

Great for
  • Adventure
  • Beaches & boats

From the blog

5 New Zealand walks to take your breath away

Walking is by far the most rewarding way to see New Zealand’s amazing natural beauty. Here’s our favourites from the country’s top walking trails...
a body of water with a city in the background

Your Australasia bucket list

With the new year on the horizon, see what top experiences in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific we recommend for your (travel) bucket list...

Interested in the deep blue residents? Then dive right in!

Inspired by the Blue Planet series, discover the creatures that bless Australasia's oceans and exactly where to find them...