South Island

You can’t miss the South Island and its staggering range of scenic landscapes – postcards all the way!

Marlborough/Nelson/West Coast/ Queenstown/Dunedin/5-6 days

– Take the ferry to Picton for a tranquil voyage and view the dolphins as you cross
– Have lunch in one of the picturesque wineries in the Marlborough and Wairau valleys
– Explore the local forests and rivers
– Spend a night on a deer farm
– Visit a lavender farm

Eco-friendly and sunny Nelson is a home of the Arts, pottery, sculpture, beaches and mountains:

– Spend a day in the Abel Tasman National Park, cruising, kayaking, walking  or just sunbathing
– Take a tour through the Nelson region with its vineyards, fruit orchards, potteries and glass-making ateliers
– Discover the Winter skifields near the Nelson Lakes, explore some walks and listen to birdsong around  Lake Rotoiti
– Lunch at the oldest hotel in the South Island
– Try tastings of  the local organic beers like Monkey Wizard, Red Head or Tall Blonde
– Visit the Farmers Market on Saturday and Sunday for Crafts and Food specialty items

The unspoilt and wild West Coast is a must for every traveller in the South Island with its magnificent beaches and sub-tropical rainforests

– Visit an old gold mine and pan for gold
– Visit the home of New Zealand jade for ‘Taonga’ (treasures) to take back with you
– Discover a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and their young
– Lunch by a typical wild West Coast beach
– Take walks in the superb rainforests
– Take a jet boat ride along part of the magnificent and breathtaking Haast River

Everyone loves Queenstown, a burgeoning alpine township on the edge of Lake Wakatipu

– Take an afternoon cruise on the lake in an historic steamship
– Dinner cruise at a farm at the end of Lake Wakatipu and return in the historic steamship
– Visit Milford or Doubtful Sounds and overnight in the Sounds (day visit possible)
– Experience the Winter skiing possibilities on the Coronet and Remarkables skifields
– Try panning for gold in a nearby historic gold town
– Stay in one of the many alpine Lodges in the region
– Horse-riding, fishing or hunting in the region’s mountains and  lakes
– Alpine helicopter and light aeroplane flights over the Southern Alps
– White-water rafting, heli-skiing, delta-plan, parachuting, hang-gliding, or jet-boat rafting

Second largest in the South Island, the Victorian town of Dunedin with its Scottish heritage is beloved of many travellers who head south:

– Take a tour of an historic castle with its beautiful grounds and garden
– Take the train through the Taieri Gorge for an a day of astounding scenery
– Travel out to the Peninsula for visits to albatross and penguin colonies, seals and dolphins
– Visit a beautiful garden on the peninsula as well as visits to historic houses and homesteads around Dunedin

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and known for its ‘English’ heritage and parks and gardens:

– Visit the superb Botanical gardens in Hagley Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the world
– Travel out for the day to the Akaroa Peninsula with its cute historic village of Akaroa, once settled by the French
– Take a morning or afternoon cruise on the Akaroa Harbour with penguins, seals and the rare Hector’s Dolphin
– Swim with the dolphins in the harbour
– Visit the excellent Christchurch Museum and the Arts Centre in the heart of Christchurch
– Visit the Arts and Crafts market on Saturdays and Sundays