New Zealand is a small country made up of several islands, the South Island being the largest. This magical island hosts some of the most notable cities in the country, as well as countless natural features that enchant those who embark on any of New Zealand’s South Island tours. Here are some of the most exciting activities you can experience while visiting the South Island.
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- 1 Top 7 Incredible Things to do in New Zealand’s South Island
Top 7 Incredible Things to do in New Zealand’s South Island
Spending a day in the Fiordland National Park
To experience untouched nature, you should head to one of the most impressive national parks in the country. Known for its incredible vistas and pristine surroundings, the Fiordland area and the nearby sea inlet are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be explored in several ways – from a plane, from a boat, or on foot, so visitors have a full array of options at their disposal.
A visit to a glacier
New Zealand has several active glaciers, most of which are accessible to tourists. The best-known examples on the South Island include Franz Josef glacier and Fox glacier, both of which can be toured with the help of an experienced guide. Cardrona Alpine Resort, with its first-class skiing facilities, is another option for snow sports enthusiasts that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Mountain climbing on Mt. Cook
The terrain on the South Island is quite mountainous, especially in the central part. The most prominent peak on the island is Aoraki/Mt. Cook at 3724 meters, which overlooks the Southern Alps range. This part of the country offers excellent opportunities for hiking or free climbing. Only the fittest mountaineers can get to the top, but everyone can enjoy the view from Mt. John Observatory.
Explore marine life at the Marlborough Sounds
With a fractured coastline spanning more than 1500 km, Marlborough Sounds is a perfect area to interact with nature and come in close contact with wild animals. In addition to the famous kiwi bird, you can also find plenty of dolphins and other forms of sea life here. Some of the most secluded bodies of water can only be reached by boat or helicopter so that Marlborough Sounds can be your playground for an adventure.
Discover the only castle in Oceania
You wouldn’t expect to find a full-scale walled castle in this part of the world, but South Island has many surprises in stock. Larnach Castle near Dunedin was built in 1871 in Victorian style, and it still represents one of New Zealand’s major attractions. Having tea at this fantastic place or visiting its vast ballroom are experiences that will stick with you for years to come.
Taste exquisite wines in Central Otago
wine tasting is always a good time — especially when you have the opportunity to try something unique. Wineries located in the hills of Central Otago are world-famous, with Pinot Noir as the most common variety grown in this locality. Sipping on samples while walking through the picturesque vineyards can be the crown jewel of a great New Zealand South Island tour.
Learn more about local history at Arrowtown
If you’re interested in learning more about New Zealand’s history, a tour of Arrowtown and Wanaka is just the thing you need to experience. This area was the center of the gold-mining industry in the 19th century, and the traces of its glorious past are still on full display. Tours are organized for small groups, while you can also wander around on your own and learn about the gold rush days at your own pace.