Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s most popular destinations for tourists, with the mountains, rivers, lakes and alpine ranges. It is famous for its scenery, wineries and outdoor adventures, with everything from skydiving, heli-biking, backcountry mountain biking and bungy jumping, to horse trekking and spa treatments. There is fantastic shopping, great hiking trails for summer and access to fantastic ski resorts in the winter; and Lord of the Rings fans recognise many of the locations of Middle-earth. One of the best ways to see the region is by ascending to Bobs Peak on a skyline gondola, where you can enjoy views of Coronet Peak and Lake Wakatipu, along with The Remarkables mountain range. If you want to take a hike, Ben Lomond is connected to Bowen Peak and Bob’s Peak and reaches a peak of 1,748 metres with views of The Remarkables, Cecil and Walter Peak and Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown is also popular for wine lovers and art lovers, with a number of vineyards, galleries, markets and museums.
FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK
Fiordland National Park was established in 1952 and is the largest national park in New Zealand, covering 12,500 square kilometres and filled with mountains, lakes, fiords and rainforest environments. One of the most popular tourist destinations in Fiordland National Park is Milford Sound - the best known fiord and the only one that can be accessed by road
Christchurch is bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean and sits right on the edge of the Canterbury Plains. Whether you’re looking for adventure or to relax there are plenty of options, including kayaking, jet boating, deep sea fishing, mountain or quad biking, helicopter or hot air balloon rides, walking trails (including the popular “green jewel of the city” - Hagley Park, or enjoying the many parks, natural reserves and recreation grounds that gave Christchurch the name, “the Garden City”.
Lake Wanaka is a popular ski destination in winter, hiking in summer. It is the fourth largest lake in the country and the town has cafes and restaurants and is generally used as a base to explore two of New Zealand’s best ski fields - Cardrona with 345 hectares of skiable terrain and Treble Cone, one of the best intermediate-advanced fields in the country. In warmer months you can enjoy activities like fishing, hiking, canyoning, climbing and skydiving.
MOUNT ASPIRING NATIONAL PARK
Mount Aspiring National Park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mountain itself is the park’s highest mountain at 3,033 metres, and it is extremely popular with mountaineers. The national park is a fantastic mix of wilderness, mountains and river valleys and there are plenty of walks to choose from if you want to explore.
Nelson is located at the top north-west of the South Island and here you will find yourself immersed in a world of golden beaches, untouched forests and craggy mountains. It is a popular home for artists and craftspeople and you will find an array of studios and galleries to visit while you’re in town. Take a walk out along the beautiful Golden Bay beach or head to Takaka to visit New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs.
Dunedin has a Scottish heritage that continues to this day and it is one of the Southern Hemisphere’s best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities. The second-largest city in the South Island, there is plenty of history and culture to explore, from the Gasworks Museum and the Taieri Gorge Railway to Dunedin Botanic Garden and Larnach Castle Garden. If you’re a nature lover, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see rare yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and the world's only mainland albatross colony; or you might visit the vibrant St. Clair Esplanade or Tunnel Beach – the most romantic spot in Dunedin.
MUST DO ACTIVITIES
Dog sledding (July to August)
Ice luge and curling
Onsen hot pools near Queenstown
Exploring Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, on the South Island’s West Coast
Ziptrek Queenstown flying fox