Some of the world's most breath-taking scenery is found in this
rugged and beautiful island. Soaring mountain peaks give way to
lush, fertile flat plains, culminating in a unique permutation of
Marlborough and Nelson
The intricate waterways of the Marlborough Sounds provide numerous
remote and secluded havens, amidst jewel-like seas, pristine
beaches, and rich native bush. They are home to all manner of birds
and sea life. The area is also renowned for its vineyards, and for
the beauty of the Abel Tasman and Nelson Lakes national parks.
The West Coast
This is a wild and rugged region of rocky and pebbly beaches and
numerous lakes, with soaring bush-clad hills leading to icy peaks.
The Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier are huge tourist draw
cards in the Westland National Park; the adjacent Mt Cook National
Park covers 70,000 hectares (173,000 acres) of the Southern Alps,
and 65 kilometres of mountain chains.
Canterbury is home to the South Island's largest city,
Christchurch. It is surrounded by alluvial plains with picturesque
braided rivers and has the Southern Alps and Arthurs Pass National
Park as a spectacular backdrop. The historic French settlement of
Akaroa is 85 kilometres from Christchurch. Home to classic colonial
architecture, this quaint village on the Banks Peninsula espouses
bountiful marine life.
The province of Canterbury stretches from the silvery beaches of
the East Coast, through the alluvial plains with their picturesque
braided rivers, to the rugged backdrop of the stunning Southern
Alps. Canterbury is the home of the South Island's largest city,
Christchurch, considered to be the most "English" city in New
Zealand reflected in its tree lined streets and neo-gothic stone
buildings. The beautiful Banks Peninsula espouses stunning scenery,
bountiful marine life, and is home to many harbourside townships
such as the quaint French settlement of Akaroa.
North of Queenstown lays the finger-like lake of Wanaka. In the
Southern Lakes region, this dramatic and diverse area is the
gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park, where awe-inspiring glaciers
and piercing mountain peaks offer the perfect challenge for
trampers, skiers and climbers alike. A thriving village hosts an
abundance of eateries and boutique shops for the less active, while
snow lovers can consume the robust ski fields on offer.
The adventure playground of the south, this prosperous tourist
mecca has something for everyone year-round. The internationally
renowned resort is set on the central 'knee' of the tranquil Lake
Wakatipu and a stunning mountain backdrop is always within view.
This alpine location has a bewildering array of activities - many
for the not-so faint hearted.
Otago and Southland
From the great skiing and water activities in the lower South
Island to historic Dunedin and the beautiful Otago Peninsula, Otago
is a fascinating and diverse area. It is rich in scenery, friendly
people, outdoor adventure and natural treasures. Southland too,
boasts natural splendours - including the world renowned Milford
Track and the lesser known Catlins area, with its fossilised
forests, bush, dolphins and rare birds.