South Island

New Zealand’s South Island is home to the purest natural landscapes you’ll ever experience.

From wildlife and wineries, to glacial valleys and star-filled skies, nature's best flourishes against a palette of dramatic scenes across the South Island. 

New Zealand South Island

Skiing

From June to October, snow transforms New Zealand’s alpine landscapes into winter wonderlands. You'll find postcard views at every ski turn, slopes for all levels and a buzzing apres-ski atmosphere. In the North Island, ski on an active volcano at Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand's largest ski field. In the South Island, choose between three main ski areas, each offering epic snow for all levels. With restaurants, wineries and adventure activities, there's so much to see and do.

Hiking

Hiking New Zealand is the best way to see beautiful landscapes and explore vast wilderness areas. With thousands of kilometres of tracks, there are walking and hiking options to suit all levels of fitness and experience. Ranging between 30 mins and 3 hours, short walks are everywhere and easily fit into travel itineraries. For something a little longer check out one of the country's iconic Great Walks. 

Stargazing

Dark, clear skies; unique celestial features and otherworldly landscapes make stargazing in New Zealand night sky a breathtakingly magical experience. If you come in winter, you might be lucky enough to catch the symphony of colour that is the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights. The best place to catch the famed Southern Lights is the International Dark Sky Reserve in Tekapo, the largest reserve of this type worldwide.

Wining and dining

New Zealand's wine and food is amongst the best in the world. Talented and innovative chefs combine ingredients freshly harvested from garden, land and sea while Pacific influences, organics and indigenous foods create a unique experience. Don’t miss tasting a glass of New Zealand’s world-class Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc, eating fresh crayfish and Bluff oysters, and experiencing a traditional Maori hangi. 

About South Island

  • Fast Facts

    Fast Facts

    Language

    English

    Maori

    Currency
    New Zealand dollar (NZD)
    Visa Requirements

    CIBTvisas

    Getty Images
    Getty Images
  • Must Do's

    Must Do's

    • Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson
    • Adventure in Queenstown
    • Aoraki/Mt.Cook
    • Christchurch Street Art Trail
    • Birdwatching, Stewart Island
    • Fjordland National Park
    • Larnach Castle, Dunedin 
  • Family Friendly Activities

    Family Friendly Activities

    • Queenstown Underwater Observatory
    • Adventure activities in Lake Wakatipu
    • Ice skating at Queenstown Ice Arena
    • Go karting at the Luge
  • Key Festivals and Events

    Key Festivals and Events

    • Gibbston Summer Concert (January)
    • Wanaka A&P Show (March)
    • Macpac Motatapu 2018 (March)
    • Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow (March-April)
    • Queenstown International Marathon (November)
    • Rhythm and Alps Music Festival (December)
  • Off the Tourist Trail

    Off the Tourist Trail

    • Soak in Japanese-inspired hot pools
    • Horse riding in Glenorchy
    • See Lord of the Rings film locations from above as you fly in a giant balloon

#NZSouthIsland Moments