The landscape of New Zealand’s South Island is very different to that of the North Island.
Dramatic mountains, stunning coastline, glaciers and the fjordlands make it a complete contrast.
The Marlborough district in the north of the island is home to New Zealand’s largest wine-making region, with approximately 65 wineries.
Travelling down the East coast to Christchurch, you come across Kaikoura. Its backdrop of snow-capped mountains makes it a beautiful place to take in a whale watching cruise or even an opportunity to go swimming with wild dolphins.
Christchurch is the gateway to the Canterbury region. The French settler village of Akaroa is well worth a visit, with superb scenery making it ideal for walks.
The Tranz Alpine Express train links Christchurch with Greymouth in the West. It is renowned for being one of the world’s most scenic journeys.
Travelling south from Greymouth on the West Coast you come across Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. The glaciers descend right from the peaks to just 300 metres above sea level, so it is possible to walk right up to them. You can also hire equipment and go for an organised hike on the glacier, or for the more adventurous, a heli hike to the top.
Queenstown is New Zealand’s adrenalin destination with choices such as bungee jumping, jetboating and whitewater rafting on offer. However, for the less adventurous it also gives you the chance to admire some spectacular scenery plus it is a good gateway to the magnificent fjordlands.
To sum up the South Island has something for everyone.