Best time to go: A year round destination, with skiing in winter, and warm summers
From the idyllic beaches of Abel Tasman National Park, to the snow capped mountains of the Southern Alps, New Zealandís South Island offers a wealth of beautiful and diverse scenery.
Located some 1500 miles east-southeast of Australia, the island is dominated by the Southern Alps, which run for 300 miles along the island. These are the backbone of the island and contain more than 360 glaciers.
The Fiordlands in the far south west of the island consist of picturesque flooded glacial valleys. Milford Sound is perhaps the most famous of the glacier-carved fiords, and here you will find majestic mountain peaks, sheer granite cliffs, ice blue waters and cascading waterfalls.
It is possible to take a cruise on the Sound, and witness the natural splendour close up, and Milford Sound is also becoming increasingly popular for more adventurous activities such as kayaking and diving.
With all this stunning scenery to soak up, South Island is a perfect destination for visitors who simply want to unwind and relax, enjoying the surroundings.
However, Queenstown is New Zealandís self-proclaimed extreme sports capital, where you can try bungee jumping, sky diving, whitewater rafting and skiing. So whether you are after breathtaking natural sights or adventure, there is plenty on the South Island to get your adrenalin pumping.
Did you know?
- New Zealandís highest peak, Mount Cook is 3754 metres high (12,316 feet)
- Rudyard Kipling described Milford Sound as the eighth wonder of the world
- Dunedin in South Island claims to have the worldís steepest street, Baldwin Street, with a maximum gradient of 1:1.266