New Zealand Tourism: South Island

New Zealand Vacations – Explore The South Island

The South Island of New Zealand is a unique landscape of mountains, valleys, forests and fiordlands. Find the best places to vacation in the stunning South Island.

Travelling through the South Island of New Zealand makes for a breathaking vacation. As the youngest country on Earth it is ideal for exploration and adventure. Yet with a population of just over 1 million people, the South Island is great for relaxation – the perfect getaway from everyday life.

Like the North Island, the South Island boasts a raft of amazing landscapes, forests and wildlife. More and more tourists are turning to New Zealand travel – so why not vacation in the South Island, famous for its Middle Earth landscapes in Lord of The Rings!

New Zealand Tourism

For the perfect New Zealand vacation, fly into Auckland and travel down through the North Island. Then hop across the Cook Straight to the South Island, and be sure to stop off at these famous New Zealand tourism hot spots.

Nelson – Creative Freedom

The sunniest region of New Zealand is home to many arts and crafts people, including traditional and contemporary Maori artists. It is made up of beautiful coastal, forest and valley landscapes which give them their inspiration. The three national parks in Nelson provide opportunities for kayaking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, sailing and horse trekking.

West Coast – The Wilderness

The West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island is for tourists seeking rugged adventure. The landscape is extreme in its diversity – with rivers, rainforests, glaciers and mountains. Adventure to the Southern Alps, the pancake rocks and blowholes of Punakaiki, and the limestone arches of Oparara.

Canterbury – Home of Mount Cook

Canterbury is a huge sprawling region with panoramic landscapes. It is home to Mount Cook, the famous setting for Lord of The Rings, and the highest point in New Zealand. Travel to the Banks Peninsula and Akaroa Harbour, formed by violent volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. Make a stop in the city of Christchurch and take in its colonial heritage and pristine parks.

Queenstown – Scenic Beauty

A New Zealand vacation must include a stay in Queenstown! With its enormous tidal lake, sprawling mountain range, and cosmopolitan town, Queenstown is a beauty to behold. Travel up the gondola for breathtaking panoramic views, and enjoy the range of shopping and eateries in the town below. Cruise on the lake by day and enjoy the bars and entertainment by night. Skiing and snowboarding fans flock to the region in winter for superb adventure sports.

Fiordland – Home to Milford Sound

When Captain Cook discovered the fiords in Fiordland, he mistakenly identified them as sounds. (The difference being: a fiord is created by a glacier, a sound is created by a river). Tourists can travel by car through the national parks – then take a trip by boat through the echoing valleys of Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound. Words cannot describe the peace and serenity of the Fiordlands – tourists must experience it firsthand! Milford Sound has been named the world’s top travel destination in an international survey, and Rudyard Kipling called it the eighth Wonder of the World.

That ends the whistle-stop tour of top New Zealand vacation destinations. From Fiordland, drive to Queenstown and catch a flight to Auckland, which is New Zealand’s largest international airport.

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