11 Must do experiences in the South Island

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South Island in New Zealand hosts the purest natural landscapes you’ll ever experience. Check out some of these #NZMustDo's in South Island.

Aoraki / Mt Cook

Experience the beauty of New Zealand's highest peak on foot wandering the easy Hooker Valley Track, enjoy a birds eye view of the area from the air or take to the surrounding turquoise waters by boat. While you are here, don't miss a visit to the Mt John Observatory where you will witness the clear and vast starlit skies of the world's largest Dark Sky Reserve. Day or night, from up close to views across the water, this mountain takes our top spot for South Island experiences.

Larnach Castle, Dunedin

Discover Victorian grandeur and intrigue with a visit to Australasia's only castle. Built by William Larnach in 1871, the castle and its creator offer a fascinating look into Dunedin's history. Boasting a 3,000 square foot ballroom, a tower with sweeping views of the Otago Peninsula and stunning Victorian style gardens, Larnach Castle is a must-do. Soak up the atmosphere and stay for high tea, hosted each day at 3pm.

Birdwatching, Stewart Island

Stewart Island is home to New Zealand's largest and most diverse bird population. Here, you can try and spot kaka, albatross, penguins, weka and even kiwis as you walk. With over 240km of walking tracks you can explore the beaches and rainforests at your own pace or pick from one of the many tour companies and discover the island's hidden gems.

Fiordland National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Fiordland National Park features the majestic Milford and Doubtful Sounds which you can experience by boat, air or on foot. Keep the camera handy - there's a magic spot around every bend in this part of the world! The park can be accessed through the picturesque town of Te Anau.

Explore the Marlborough Sounds

The picturesque Marlborough Sounds boasts 1,500km of New Zealand coastline. Home to secluded bay, historic sites, marine reserves and precious island sanctuaries, which foster kiwi and other native species. Cruise or kayak your way through the Sounds, spotting the wildlife along the way. Starting at Ship Cove, walk or cycle bush clad ridgelines to admire the view from the Queen Charlotte Track.

Christchurch Street Art Trail

Soak up the creative vibe of Christchurch before you hit the road on an epic South Island journey. Visit the eclectic cafes that dot the city wander the city streets to admire the creative art that meets you around every corner.

Adventure in Queenstown

The stunning lakeside resort of Queenstown is the Adventure Capital of New Zealand. From the iconic bungy jumping and jet boating, to quad biking, white water rafting, river surfing, sky diving and canyon swings...there is something for everyone!

 

Mt Aspiring National Park, Wanaka

Fom soaring mountains to tranquil river flats, glaciers and turquoise lakes, exploring the Mount Aspiring National Park wilderness is an unforgettable experience. Accessible from Wanaka, it boasts plenty of activities for outdoor enthusiasts; from walking to jet boating and scenic flights. Choosing where to start is the hardest part!

Wineries in Central Otago

Central Otago is breathtakingly different with vast undulating landscapes, rugged snow-capped mountains, clear blue rivers and tussock-clad hills. The gem of this region is the multitude of wineries, many world-renowned for their Pinot Noir. Meet the wine-makers, stroll or bike through the vines and savour the best of this region.

Hokitika Gorge, West Coast

Sometimes you see photos of a tourist spot and think yeah right, it can’t look as good as that in real life. The Hokitika Gorge is one of those places. The vivid turquoise water surrounded by lush native bush looks too good to be true but trust us, it is well worth a visit. The Hokitika Gorge is 33kms from Hokitika on the West Coast.

Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson

The sheltered bays of Abel Tasman National Park are perfect for sailing or kayaking, with ample opportunity to see the seals and dolphins who regularly play in these coastal waters. If you prefer to explore by land, the park is a great place to walk. Hike the Abel Tasman Coastal Track and follow the coastline through native bush, past limestone cliffs and along golden beaches.

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