With so many options, it can be hard to pick what not to miss on the South Island of New Zealand. However, these are our top choices:
The South Island of New Zealand is packed full of so many natural wonders it would take at least a month to visit them all.
If you are planning your first visit to New Zealand, this guide will help you choose the very best of the best. Read on to learn more about what not to miss on the South Island.
New Zealand’s fiords are one of the country’s crowning jewels. These stunning landscapes are a place of extremes, with huge annual rainfall, towering waterfalls, and near-vertical mountainsides.
Milford Sound is rightly famous, and the drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound is arguably more dramatic than the fiord itself.
If you prefer fewer crowds, Doubtful Sound is even larger and more dramatic than Milford Sound. This fiord is difficult to access, which is why it still feels so isolated. Visitors must take a boat across Lake Manapouri and ride a bus over Wilmot Pass to reach Doubtful Sound.
Whichever fiord you choose, be sure to visit at least one during your South Island holiday.
New Zealand has over 3,000 glaciers, but most of these are high in the mountains and difficult to visit.
However, you should not miss visiting one of the three major glaciers:
These three stretch down almost to sea level, and are easily reached by either short trails or helicopter flights.
By far the best way to see these glaciers is with a helicopter flight and snow landing, as this provides sweeping views of New Zealand’s highest peaks.
Opinions on Queenstown are mixed–some fall in love with its natural beauty, while others are overwhelmed by the bustling town center.
However, no one can deny that this is the heart of the South Island. Queenstown is an easy base for visiting many of the surrounding regions, from the famous hiking trails in Glenorchy and the charming historic village of Arrowtown to the wineries scattered through the Gibbston Valley of Vines.
If you prefer not to drive, tour operators in Queenstown will keep you busy with an endless list of sightseeing, outdoor sports, and adrenaline activities, all offering transport from the town center.
Many of the highlights of the South Island are located along its alpine roads. You should not leave New Zealand without experiencing one of these breathtaking mountain drives.
Choose from the Milford Road, the Mackenzie Basin, Arthur’s Pass, Haast Pass, or the Queenstown-Glenorchy road.
The South Island’s West Coast is a wild, dramatic place with lush rainforest, pounding waterfalls, deep river gorges, towering mountains, and two of the country’s three major glaciers.
Along the narrow, winding coast road, travelers can visit the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, the Hokitika Gorge, and the Jade Factory.
We may be biased since Wanaka is our home, but almost all visitors fall in love with this charming mountain town. Less hectic than Queenstown but with just as many sightseeing options, Wanaka’s compact town center is perched on the shores of Lake Wanaka and surrounded by the Southern Alps.
< Prev Go Back to Read about the 10 Best Things to Do on the South Island
© 2020 NZ Travel Organiser
Website by Webstudio