5 great places to visit on New Zealand’s South Island

Arriving in New Zealand, one is immediately confronted with the country’s dedication to the conservation of nature. Permits may be required for a multitude of items, ranging from animals, plants, seeds to ginseng roots.

Before starting your exploration of the pristine wilderness of the South Island, one needs to be aware of the strict DOC (Department of Conservation) guidelines and regulations. These include lighting fires on conservation land, dog access to conservation land (if you are bringing your furry friend along), littering, being prepared for fast-changing weather conditions, avalanche alerts, drone usage and more.  

With good planning and awareness, you’re ready for a memorable trip through the South Island’s beautiful landscapes, mountains, glaciers, lakes, temperate rainforests and beaches. Many travelers will opt for a campervan, as they allow nature lovers to stay outdoors during their entire stay.

Starting in Picton, located at the North-end of the South Island, you can drive all the way to the Southern tip of Island and back within 2 weeks. The South Island has so many beautiful sites, too many to list here, so we have compiled a list of five locations and activities that will guarantee satisfaction to travelers.

Nelson Lakes National Park

Located about 1.5 hours’ drive from Picton, Nelson Lakes National Park covers about 1000 square kilometers, it is centered at two large lakes, Rotoiti and Rotoroa. The park includes surrounding valleys (including Travers, Sabine, and D’Urville, upper reaches of the Matakitaki) and mountain ranges (Saint Arnaud Range, Mount Robert). The park is a popular area for camping, tramping and fishing. The park is administered by the Department of Conservation that operates a Visitors Centre in Saint Arnaud providing up-to-date and reliable information on all aspects of the National Park.

Pancake Rocks

One of the many natural attractions to be found on the South Island are the Pancake Rocks, formed over a limestone base that started 25 to 35 million years ago and getting its’ name and looks through the erosion of this limestone area. They can be explored by walkways within the rock formations. You can reach the Pancake Rocks on the West Coast, driving on State Highway 6 going through the nearby town of Punakaiki.

Hokitika driftwood festival

The town of Hokitika was founded in 1864 during the West Coast Gold Rush. On a clear day, visitors can clearly see Mt Cook from the town’s main street. The main attraction today is the yearly driftwood festival, bringing Art and the environment together; Build a sculpture with anything you find on the beach and some imagination. This is ideal for family trips, providing fun and creativity for the kids.

Queenstown

Located in the South West of the Island, this resort town is a major center for snow sports in New Zealand, offering visitors and locals a multitude of activities, ranging from skiing and snowboarding, jets boating, whitewater rafting, bungy jumping, mountain biking, skateboarding, tramping, paragliding, sky diving to fly fishing. The town offers a lively change from nature hikes with a large choice of restaurants, bars and festivals and is close to the Central Otago Wine Region. For those who like a little adventure inside, the town even has one of the 6 casinos in New Zealand. For the best online casino New Zealand also offers a great platform.

Kaikoura

On the way back to the North, travelers can enjoy a range of wildlife experiences of all kinds in the coastal town of Kaikoura where marine mammal encounters are common. Whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters. One of the most exciting activities is swimming with dolphins. The town is small but it’s well worth staying more than 1 night as the surrounding scenery is spectacular with the mountains overlooking the sea.

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

Leave a Comment

Royal Heritage: Best Castles in Central Europe

Central Europe is mainly famous for its castles, vineyards, palaces, cathedrals, and beaches. The region also shows a variety of architectural pieces, culture, and influential designs of art. The world’s most beautiful palaces are built there which will give you umpteen opportunities to enjoy!  Now, the most important part is to enjoy the trip! nd

Read More »

Four Seasons Resort Hoi An and the Cult of Well-being

With the end of the pandemic coming into sight, travel in 2021 is going to be all about getting back to Nature, touchless tech, health and wellness, and smaller footprints and bigger hearts, all while maintaining a comfortable distance from fellow guests. If there ever was a property tailor-made for the pandemic world and beyond,

Read More »

Dressed to Impress in Hoi An

Hoi An is arguably Vietnam’s most photogenic town, with its artfully peeling ochre-colored walls, colorful silk lanterns, and centuries of history starting out as a bustling seaport on the Silk Maritime Route. As if that weren’t enough for epic photos, in summer 2020, friends Leo and Van opened up Viet Phuc, a costume rental shop

Read More »
Quy Nhon Beach

Why Your Next Beach Getaway Should Be to Quy Nhon

If you’ve never heard of Quy Nhon (pronounced kwee nyohn), you’re not alone. Situated on Vietnam’s South-Central coast, sandwiched between the tourist meccas of Hoi An and Nha Trang, this pretty, laid-back city of about 500,000 doesn’t get a lot of press outside of Vietnamese-language media, and even then it’s mostly limited to striking drone

Read More »

MÖVENPICK RESORT WAVERLY PHU QUOC HONORED AS THE BEST “LUXURY FAMILY RESORT IN ASIA” OF THE WORLD LUXURY HOTEL AWARDS 2020

Regarded as one of the most splendid resorts in 2020, Movenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc made a mark with its astonishing achievements. Recently, the first international five-star resort on Ong Lang beach has set a new record as “the Best Luxury Family Resort in Asia” at the 2020 World Luxury Hotel Awards. Despite the hotel’s

Read More »

Betting sites can’t split Liverpool and Man City in title race

The Premier League has paused for an international break for the second time this season and even though neither Liverpool or Manchester City are top of the table after eight game weeks, the pair are still clear of all the rest in the outright betting market. Each team had to settle for a point in

Read More »