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  • South Island

South Island

South Island

The South Island of New Zealand is home to some of the country’s most rugged scenery and active experiences. Scenic glacial fjords and dramatic alpine peaks provide a backdrop from which to enjoy a wide array of adventures, including trekking, skiing, jet-boating and even bungee-jumping. Those seeking a more relaxed escape will also find no shortage of intriguing arts and architecture, history, culture, cuisine and therapeutic endeavors to enjoy. 

Natural wonders are abundant on the South Island and popular wildlife activities include whale-watching, swimming with dolphins and trekking along alpine trails. For those intent on enjoying more artistic and creative pursuits, Christchurch’s famed Arts Center and Nelson’s community of artists and craftspeople are among the most popular destinations. From rugged alpine coasts to charming villages; from adrenaline-charged adventure to world-class wine tasting, the South Island offers a diverse range of enjoyment for any traveler.

As the cultural and architectural capital of the South Island, Christchurch is known as New Zealand’s Garden City for its many parks, botanical gardens and lovely natural landscape. As the gateway to the South Island, the city’s compact design ensures easy discovery of the area’s sites, history and heritage, and serves as an ideal base from which to explore the volcanic harbor at Akaroa or the town of Kaikoura for whale watching.

At 12,313 feet, Mt. Cook is New Zealand’s highest peak and together with twenty seven other peaks above 10,000 feet, constitutes New Zealand’s famous Southern Alps which provide a scenic backbone along the South Island. In addition to its numerous scenic walks and rugged hikes, Mt. Cook also plays host to a range of activities such as 4WD safaris, horse treks and scenic alpine flights with dramatic snow landings.

Locations


Sample Itineraries

A Journey through New Zealand
A Journey through New Zealand
13 Nights From $17,555
Auckland, Rotorua, Wairarapa, Queenstown, Christchurch
All Over Australia and New Zealand
All Over Australia and New Zealand
18 Nights From $4,120
Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Christchurch, Melbourne, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Sydney
All Over New Zealand
All Over New Zealand
17 Nights From $3,325
Auckland, Rotorua, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Franz Josef, Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch
All Over New Zealand
All Over New Zealand
17 Nights From $12,195
Auckland, Rotorua, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Franz Josef, Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch
Boutique New Zealand
Boutique New Zealand
10 Nights From $1,800
Auckland, Napier, Martinborough, Blenheim, Christchurch
Circle South Island
Circle South Island
12 Nights From $1,915
Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Nelson
Discover New Zealand and Australia
Discover New Zealand and Australia
14 Nights From $3,085
Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Christchurch, Cairns, Sydney
Kiwi Adventure
Kiwi Adventure
10 Nights From $2,375
Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Christchurch
Kiwi Adventure
Kiwi Adventure
10 Nights From $6,930
Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Christchurch
Kiwi Culture
Kiwi Culture
12 Nights From $3,905
Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Queenstown
Luxury in New Zealand
Luxury in New Zealand
11 Nights From $14,065
Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown, Christchurch, Wairarapa
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
10 Nights From $3,235
Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown, Christchurch
Middle-earth and Beyond
Middle-earth and Beyond
10 Nights From $3,235
Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown, Christchurch
Natural New Zealand
Natural New Zealand
14 Nights From $10,075
Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua, Christchurch, Arthur's Pass, Franz Josef, Queenstown
Ultimate Australia and New Zealand
Ultimate Australia and New Zealand
14 Nights From $13,070
Queenstown, Christchurch, Blue Mountains, Hayman Island, Sydney

Tours and Activities

Akaroa Tour
Akaroa Tour
Christchurch
Length: Full-day
Arthur's Pass National Park and TranzAlpine
Arthur's Pass National Park and TranzAlpine
Christchurch
Length: Full-day
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot Air Ballooning
Christchurch
Length: Half-day
Kaikoura Whale Watch
Kaikoura Whale Watch
Christchurch
Length: Full-day
Dunedin City Heritage Tour
Dunedin City Heritage Tour
Dunedin
Length: Half-day
Moeraki Boulders and Blue Penguins
Moeraki Boulders and Blue Penguins
Dunedin
Length: Half-day
The Otago Peninsula Experience
The Otago Peninsula Experience
Dunedin
Length: Full-day
Heli Hike
Heli Hike
Franz Josef
Length: Half-day
Glacier Highlights
Glacier Highlights
Mount Cook
Length: Half-day
Tasman Glacier and 4WD Argo Tour
Tasman Glacier and 4WD Argo Tour
Mount Cook
Length: Half-day
A Day in Nelson
A Day in Nelson
Nelson
Length: Full-day
Abel Tasman Sailing
Abel Tasman Sailing
Nelson
Length: Full-day
Kayak - Tonga Island Seals and Guided Walk
Kayak - Tonga Island Seals and Guided Walk
Nelson
Length: Full-day
Boutique Wine Tour
Boutique Wine Tour
Queenstown
Length: Half-day
Dart River Wilderness Safari
Dart River Wilderness Safari
Queenstown
Length: Half-day
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Queenstown
Length: Half-day, Full-day, Multi-day
Milford Sound Heli Tours
Milford Sound Heli Tours
Queenstown
Length: Half-day
Milford Sound Tour
Milford Sound Tour
Queenstown
Length: Full-day
Queenstown Highlights
Queenstown Highlights
Queenstown
Length: Half-day, Full-day
Queenstown to Christchurch (via Mount Cook)
Queenstown to Christchurch (via Mount Cook)
Queenstown
Length: Full-day
Safari of the Scenes
Safari of the Scenes
Queenstown
Length: Half-day
Skyline Gondola
Skyline Gondola
Queenstown
Length: Half-day
Triple Challenge
Triple Challenge
Queenstown
Length: Half-day
White Water Rafting
White Water Rafting
Queenstown
Length: Half-day