New Zealand’s South Island Hosts The Purest Natural Landscapes
From wildlife to wineries, Glacial valleys to star-filled skies. The South Island offers adventure in all its forms. Choose to explore just one region, or road trip from Picton all the way down to Bluff. No matter which destinations you choose to explore on this long mountainous islet. You will be constantly open-mouthed before the unbelievable scenery.
Best Places to Visit South Island New Zealand
Every region in the South Island has its own unique highlights. Some of the most popular places are:
The megacity of Christchurch is a vibrant civic center with astounding road art and a thriving savorer scene.
The regions of Christchurch and Canterbury are set against the majestic backgrounds of both mounts and the ocean.
Generally, from lush stations and wild plages to sky-piercing mountains and pristine glacial lakes. Canterbury is a region of remarkable contrasts and a haven for those seeking inconceivable decor and adventure. A trip through the Southern mounts on the TranzAlpine, the night sky in the world’s largest transnational Dark Sky near jumbos in Kaikōura.
Usually, watch the brume rise amid murmurs of discussion as you sit back and relax in Hanmer Springs. Natural hot pools, explore exchange galleries, and hidden kudos in Akaroa. Enjoy the delights of the North Canterbury wine region. Similarly, in the turquoise lakes, important glaciers, and the sky-piercing mounts of the Mackenzie quarter and Aoraki/ Mount Cook National Park.
What’s there to do in Christchurch?
The region of Christchurch-Canturbury stretches from Mackenzie country around Lake Tekapo as far north as Kaikōura. Between rugged plages and mountainous public premises, you will find no way to run out of effects to do.
See street art in Christchurch City
After the ruinous earthquakes in 2011, Christchurch was rebuilt as a more creative and stinky civic center. Wander through the thoroughfares esteeming the various showpieces that tell stories of the megacity’s adaptability and insuperable spirit.
Walk the Hooker Valley Track
The Hooker Valley Track, in Aoraki/ Mount Cook National Park, is one of the finest half-day walks in the region. You will get to spot the peak of New Zealand’s altitudinous mountain, Mount Cook, across a glacial lake scattered with icebergs.
Stop by Lake Tekapo to Gaze at the Stars
The deep blue depths of Lake Tekapo make this an infectious layover on your Mackenzie Country road trip. Make sure you step outdoors at night time to catch regard of the spectacularly clear skies and bright stars.
Go Whale Watching in Kaikōura
Hop onboard a boat in Kaikōura for your chance to see passing sperm jumbos, orcas, and dolphins.
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
Get regard of Mount Cook’s peak across the icy blue water of Lake Pukaki, before heading up to the public demesne to walk the Hooker Valley Track.
One of the most popular walks is in Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park. Pass through Hooker Valley and walk beside the Hooker River.
Aoraki/ Mount Cook National Park is a rugged land of ice and gemstone. Walking one of the tracks is a stylish way to witness this ancient geography. The track leads up the Hooker Valley and along the Hooker River, ending at glacier lake, where there are amazing views of Aoraki/ Mount Cook on a clear day. Along the way, you’ll cross three swingbridges and encounter graphic icicles, glaciers, and majestic mountains that will have you reaching for your camera at every turn.
Begin your walk at the Visitor Centre or White Horse Hill hutment/car park at the end of Hooker Valley Rd off State Highway 80.
Need to Know
Weather can change snappily in alpine surroundings so be prepared for variable rainfall conditions.
Lake Tekapo South Island New Zealand
With deep blue water and a borderline of grandiloquent lupins, Lake Tekapo is an idyllic sight. Graphic by day and glowing by night, Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.
Lake Tekapo is about three hours’ drive southwest of Christchurch in the Mackenzie Basin. The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise-colored lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern mounts. Lake Tekapo gets its violent milky-turquoise color from the fine gemstone flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.
Milford Sound of South Island
Cruise, kayak, or hike in Milford Sound, a dramatic cove that will enkindle your imagination. Positioned on the west seacoast of the South Island, hours from the nearest city. Milford Sound is where plunging escarpments and raging falls meet inky dark waters. This is New Zealand’s wild side in its absolute stylish.
Famously described by Rudyard Kipling as the eighth wonder of the world. Milford Sound was sculpted by glaciers during the ice periods. Stirring in any rainfall, the cove’s escarpments rise vertically from the dark waters. Mountain peaks scrape the sky and fall waterfalls down from as high as 1000 measures. When it rains in Milford Sound, and it frequently does those falls multiply with magnific effect.
Things to do in Milford Sound
Explore Milford Sound on a trainer and voyage stint. Lace up your walking shoes and attack some of the stunning tracks in the area.
Cruise Milford Sound
Boat sails–during the day or overnight–are an excellent way to witness. Audacious types might also like to head out ocean kayaking, diving, or flightseeing. To learn further about the original marine life, visit the aquatic overlook at Harrison Cove and the phenomenon of the black coral, 11 lawful ocean stars, and delicate anemones.
Go kayaking in Milford Sound
Milford Sound & Fiordland’s land-before-time geographies are stylishly explored by kayak. However, you might indeed spot a bottlenose dolphin or fur seal, If you are lucky.
Kayaking offers paddlers an indelible occasion to see the region’s spectacular arms at ocean position as well as explore untouched aqueducts and lakes. Row up near the thundering Sutherland Falls, which rank as some of the altitudinous in the world. If you can spot some of the original resident wildlife- dolphins, seals, and the Fiordland Crested Penguin calls the region home. For the truly audacious, enjoy a late kayaking adventure in Doubtful Sound. Real New Zealand Milford Kayaks and Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Cruise and Kayak trip both offer pulling gests.
Diving and snorkeling in Milford Sound
Black coral, native to the Fiordland area, can be viewed in Milford Sound. Despite its name, living black coral is actually white and frequently has a variety show of other bloodsuckers, corals, and snake stars that attach themselves to the black coral, they’re generally bright yellows, flora, and oranges. Only when the coral has failed does it come black in color.
Black coral trees are known to grow five meters high and can be viewed at just 10 meters deep. There are a variety of bloodsuckers, hydroids, coral, ascidians, and bryozoans.
Hike the Milford Track
Still, the Milford Track is for you, If you enjoy hiking or touring. The four-day track begins at the northern end of Lake Te Anau and winds its way through some of the world’s most pictorial nature. Your trip ends with a boat trip from Sandfly Point to the Milford Sound levee.
During the Great Walks season (from the launch of October until the end of April) the DOC hooches on the Milford Track book up months in advance. However, it’s stylish to plan and bespeak well in advance, If you are keen on hiking the Milford Track.
Getting to Milford Sound
Numerous people begin their visit to the Sound from Te Anau or Queenstown. The road to Milford Sound is narrow and winding. However, you should allow plenitude of time and drive precisely, If you plan on driving to Milford. Milford is approximately four hours from Queenstown, and two hours from Te Anau.
An easier volition can be to take a machine as part of a trainer and voyage stint. This option also allows you to spend further time gaping at the inconceivable geographies along the way. utmost trainers will stop along the way so you have the chance to take prints and respect the decor. When traveling by road from Queenstown, visiting Milford Sound takes a full day so you will want to stay a night or two. If you are short on time the fastest way to get to Milford Sound is to take a scenic flight from Queenstown.
Enjoy the road to Milford Sound
The road into Milford Sound is nearly as beautiful as the cove itself. Make the utmost of the trip and explore some of Fiordland’s stylish short hikes, including stops similar to the Mirror Lakes, the Lake Gunn Nature Walk, and Monkey Creek.
Staying in Milford Sound
The small villa of Milford Sound also has limited places to stay so pre-booking is advised or choose from the numerous options in Te Anau or Manapouri. However, you can enjoy food and drink onboard your boat voyage, If you are empty there is a café in the vill.
The Weather in Milford Sound
Fiordland is one of the wettest areas of New Zealand. It’s famous for its high downfall and can have cool temperatures all time round. On average, Milford Sound receives rain 182 days of the time on the South Island.
In summer, temperatures are generally around 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit) and 4 degrees (41 Fahrenheit) in downtime. No matter when you choose to visit, wear warm layers and bring a leakproof jacket.
Is Milford Sound worth it in the rain?
Milford Sound is indeed more beautiful in the rain. further downfall means the falls are spectacular, and when mist drapes itself over the mountain tops it only adds to the fabulous beauty of the cove. You are likely to get splashed with water when on a Milford Sound voyage anyway, so put on your mac and some leakproof shoes and embrace the rainfall.
Kaikoura South Island New Zealand
Spot jumbos, seals, and dolphins in the deepwater villa of Kaikōura.The graphic littoral city of Kaikoura is the perfect place for marine life hassles, littoral walks and putting away into a plate of crayfish.
Kaikōura is a base for wildlife guests of all kinds. Usually, it’s also a great place to eat crayfish (in the Māori language’ kai’ means food, and ‘kōura’ means crayfish). An easy two-hour drive north of Christchurch, Kaikōura makes for a great day trip or a fun stop on your way to Marlborough. Kaikōura’s terrain is truly spectacular. The vill is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikōura Range and the Pacific Ocean. In downtime the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the geography.
Kaikōura’s special gift is marine mammal encounters jumbos, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in littoral waters. Goliath watching passages leave the city several times a day and the original seal colony is always amusing. There is a plenitude of cafés, and shops to explore. Witness the mystification of huge denes of ice that extend well below the snowline, nearly to the South Island. Then the ice age is still underway.
Fox Glacier & Franz Josef Glacier on South Island
On the West Coast of the South Island, you will find potent glaciers descending through the rainforest into the ocean
Easy to Access
While glaciers around the world are retreating, the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers still flow nearly to the ocean position. The temperate climate at this low altitude means these glaciers are among the most accessible to visit in the world. Easy walks to the bottom of the glaciers pass along ancient swash denes with steep sides. Gigantic vertical scars from when the glaciers have retreated and advanced over glories. When you stand close to the bottom of these glaciers, their sheer enormity is veritably humbling.
There are some data to help you get the picture. Over its 13-kilometer length, the Fox glacier plummets 600 meters from high in the Southern mounts. It’s fed by four alpine glaciers that admit around 30 meters of snowfall each time.
This ice slides downhill to the further position swash vale below, where it’s still 300 meters thick. This effect combined with the high snowfall feeds the top of the glacier. The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers flow around ten times faster than the utmost-value glaciers.
Visiting the Glaciers
Professional attendants lead peregrinations onto the ice, and copters or ski airplanes can take you up to where the glaciers begin.
- For practical advice on visiting the glaciers, see National Parks- Westland Tai Poutini.