The South Island is renowned for its incredible natural beauty and boasts a series of incredible natural contrasts - with gently rolling hills and pastures on the East Coast and remarkable alpine splendour on the West Coast. It enjoys a temperate climate and features nine national parks with World Heritage sites, fiords and glaciers, lakes, ski areas, stunning coastline, native forest and world-class walking and hiking tracks. A massive mountain chain - the Southern Alps - runs down its spine taking in the country’s highest peak Aoraki/Mt Cook.
Christchurch is the South Island’s largest city and is modern and cosmopolitan with a laid-back atmosphere. It has a wide range of exciting festivals, theatres, modern art galleries, great shopping, award-winning attractions and a host of activities on offer. It is an ideal place for partying at night after a day exploring the surrounding countryside.
Dunedin, on the Otago Peninsula, with its Scottish character, is the second largest city on the South Island and the country’s best -preserved Victorian centre. It enjoys a rich sporting heritage and is the renowned centre of rugby. Dunedin is also famous for its population of hoiho, or yellow-eyed penguin, an endangered bird with a characteristic yellow eye. You can find it just outside of Dunedin on the Otago Coast.
Queenstown is treasured for its magnificent scenery, adventure opportunities and luxury lifestyle. Known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, it has a huge choice of sports and activities available, as well as being the gateway to some of the country’s finest walking tracks.
You could easily spend a week in Queenstown and still not fit everything in! It is truly an action packed town and offers a great choice of dining and entertainment options when you want to relax after your high-energy activities.
The South Island is glacier country. With the majestic Tasman, Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers located here. Enjoy a multitude of scenic opportunities showcasing their beauty, including a range of walks, hikes, heli-hikes, scenic flights and cruises.
The power of Fiordland’s scenery will enthral you, waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into massive fiords; ancient rainforests hug the mountains and glittering lakes and craggy peaks haven’t changed in a thousand years.