Top 7 Things to See in South Island New Zealand


With a mild climate noticeably cooler than North Island, South Island of New Zealand has four distinct and amazing seasons and many natural wonders to explore around its seashore beaches, Southern Alps, fiords and countryside. With so much space, people come to the island for relaxation in nature. They also come for extreme, invigorating outdoor sports and thrills.

Attractions on South Island

Here are seven of the top things to see in South Island:

Arthur’s Pass National Park – Directly in the centre with the west coast of South Island on one side and Canterbury, Arthur’s Pass National Park has forests, mountains and walking tracks. Backpacking, hiking and mountain climbing are favourite activities.

Cook Strait – For all types of water sports, the Cook Strait between North and South Islands has several boating options from luxury cruising to sea kayaking. Ferries transport between cities and towns across the waters.

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Glenorchy – A village resort on Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy is about 45 kilometres on the road from Queenstowm. The village is the location where one of the scenes from the first movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot. The setting is absolutely beautiful.

Lake Tekapo – The natural setting around Lake Tekapo is something extra special. Recreational activities range from picnicking to boating, trekking to relaxing. The opportunities for outdoor sports are endless. At night, the stars and Milky Way are near and gorgeous.

Milford Sound – A stunning fjord in Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound was a wonder of the world according to Rudyard Kipling. Trekking and taking pictures are two of the ways to enjoy the pristine loveliness of Milford Sound. Taking a guided tour makes exploration of the sound even more meaningful.

Milford Track – People can follow the Milford Track that meanders for almost 54 kilometres through some of the most priceless natural wonders on the planet. The trail is located right in the incredible Fiordland National Park. Guided tours sharing interesting scientific and historic facts about the region are also provided.

Rangitata River – Rangitata River, a wonderful river in the Canterbury Plains, runs for 120 kilometres in a south-east direction. This waterway is perfect for long raft and kayak trips. Guides who have much experience lead short and long rafting adventures. The scenery is amazing with views of the majestic mountains and the valley.

Travelling on South Island

Planning the trip and itinerary is important. One of the most convenient and economical ways to see these popular sites at your own pace is by using a campervan. It provides transport as well as your accommodation, therefore saves you from hotel expenses.

Photo by rickcox, Bill Harrison, César González Palomo, lifacolor, Abir Anwar, anoldent, Jonathan Woolley