With its comprehensive network of well-kept roads, New Zealand’s South Island is ideal for a self-drive holiday. Distances between destinations are reasonable, while the stunning scenery will ensure no car trip is boring. Furthermore there are plenty of wonderful hotels and resorts to break up your journey, whether you’ve opted to traverse the picturesque drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds region in the north, or tour the snowy mountains and glacier-studded wilderness of the remote west. Our New Zealand tours provide ample time to stretch your legs, exploring compact historic cities such as Dunedin and Christchurch, as well as a wealth of options to get your blood pumping such as scenic flights, hiking and biking.
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With plenty of snow in the Southern Alps and postcard-perfect beaches all around its shores, our New Zealand South Island tours offer endless opportunities for outdoor activity all year-round. In Queenstown, ski the popular trails at Coronet Peak in winter, cycle around Lake Wakatipu or cruise its gleaming waters in warmer weather. Sun-drenched Nelson, glorious coastal Abel Tasman National Park and the watery Marlborough Sounds at the ‘Top of the South’ are ideal for water-sports, followed by a hearty meal of fresh seafood paired with crisp regional white wines. Up in the mountains, there’s no better time to enjoy a crackling log fire and hot chocolate than after exploring the frosty glaciers on the South Island’s west coast and around Aoraki Mount Cook.
- New Zealand’s spectacular South Island
- Snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps
- Aoraki Mount Cook, the nation’s highest peak
- A multitude of shimmering lakes including lengthy Wakatipu
- Glistening glaciers including Franz Josef, Fox and Tasman
- Gorgeous fjords such as Milford Sound
- Christchurch, the region’s pretty capital
- Queenstown, the country’s adrenalin centre
- Dunedin, historic gateway to the Otago Peninsula
- Marlborough Sounds, sunny Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park
Accommodation – New Zealand South Island
Suggested Tours Featuring New Zealand
The most convenient point of entry to South Island is Christchurch, whose airport is serviced by a range of international and domestic carriers. It is also possible to fly into Queenstown directly from Sydney and Melbourne; most other destinations require a stop in Auckland en route. Dunedin is your third option, but only truly convenient if coming from Brisbane or North Island as there are no direct flights into this city from anywhere else. Self-driving is highly recommended as roads are well-maintained and the scenery awe-inspiring.
New Zealand’s North Island may not be as popular but it is the country’s commercial hub and rich in Maori culture. There are active volcanoes to see, wildlife sanctuaries to visit as well as sprawling pastoral landscapes hemmed in by sandy, white beaches. Vibrant Auckland is often also the first point of entry to the country, an excellent place to experience the country’s diverse heritage.