New Zealand’s South Island is often considered the most beautiful by travellers. Mountains, lakes and expanses of nature … that’s what you’ll find there! The beauty of this island has meant that visitor numbers have increased year by year. The South Island is full of fabulous places and there are still hidden corners that you should definitely see. Stay away from the classic tour “Abel Tasman – Fox Glacier – Queenstown – Milford Sound” … we guarantee you will not regret it! This post will show you the best places to visit on the South Island in New Zealand.
Stewart Island is the third largest island in New Zealand and is located in the far south of the country. It is home to incredible flora and fauna, including kiwis (about 15,000). Over 80% of the island consists of the Rakiura National Park, where you can take beautiful walks between beaches and forests. Do not miss the Horseshoe Point range … a real gem! We also recommend that you spend a few hours on the island of Ulva, which is a bird sanctuary. A true paradise for nature lovers.
Rob Roy Glacier
Region : Otago
Would you like to see a beautiful glacier up close and avoid the crowds? The majority of New Zealand tourists visit the Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier on the west coast, but there is another place: the Rob Roy Glacier. It is located in Mount Aspiring National Park, a 1-hour drive from Wanaka. You have to take a trail in the valley to enjoy the view of the icy giant at the end of the course (10 km round trip). A peaceful river, dozens of waterfalls everywhere, lush nature and the glacier of incredible beauty in the background. The picture is idyllic!
Region : Otago
The Wanaka region is famous for its beautiful walks between lakes and mountains. Rocky Peak is one of them. This uncrowded hike is a 20-minute drive from Wanaka. The trek follows in two steps: First, you will ascend to Diamond Lake, then continue to the top of Rocky Peak.
The reward is huge: breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Tip: Remember to take a picnic and relax on top of a rock and enjoy the view. Go back and forth for about 3 hours (7 kilometers).
Tolkien fans will not miss this page! Mount Sunday is a mountain that served as the backdrop in the movie “The Lord of the Rings“: it houses the fortress of Edoras, the capital of Rohan. Mont Sunday Valley is located in the middle of the South Island in New Zealand. You have to take a long gravel road to get there, but you will not regret the trip! The show you are offered at the end of the road is unbelievable. The landscapes are magnificent and you will feel very small in the heart of this huge valley!
Region : Canterbury
A paradise for hikers and mountain lovers, it is impossible not to fall in love with Arthur’s Pass. This national park, 2 hours drive north of Christchurch, is still untouched by mass tourism. Arthur’s Pass offers dozens of beautiful walks with spectacular views of the Southern Alps. Here you will most likely encounter Keas as well: they are the only mountain parrots in the world and only occur in New Zealand.
Check the weather before you arrive, as conditions may be difficult. If you just have to decide on a hike we recommend this: Avalanche summit (1100 vertical meters – good condition required).
Castle Hill is 90 kilometres north of Christchurch. The site is located at an altitude of 700 meters, near the Arthur’s Pass National Park. You’ve probably never heard of Castle Hill and yet it’s an unusual place. This green valley is dotted with hundreds of huge rock formations! Have fun in this labyrinth of stones and admire the view from the top of the huge rocks. The place is photogenic to perfection!
Region : Tasman
Do you know the famous Windows wallpaper with the jogger on the beach and huge rocks in the background? The photo was taken on the magnificent beach of Wharariki near Cape Farewell: the northernmost point of the South Island in New Zealand. This wild beach of rock formations is just beautiful. At low tide, you certainly have the opportunity to observe seal babies in natural pools and admire the reflection of the rocks in the sand. This corner offers beautiful walks along the coast. A great highlight of the South Island in New Zealand.
Region : Malborough
French Pass is located at the end of a peninsula in the Malborough Sounds. The way to this remote place is just spectacular! It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful roads in the country. This narrow and winding passage offers panoramic views of the coast and the surrounding meadows. To reach this road trip you have to cover 38 kilometers, 20 of which are on a dirt road. Get ready for many breaks between photo stops and sheep and cow passes.
Do you know any secret places to visit on the South Island in New Zealand? Comment below!