Population – 4.79 mil
Nelson & Marlborough
Population: Circa 150, 770
Climate: Hot sunny days coupled with cool nights
Great for: Wine tastings, Arts & Crafts markets, Whale watching, Walking,
Nelson offers some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. There is also a lively arts and music scene, and if you want to combine art appreciation with a little shopping you can always hit the Saturday Nelson Market where you can buy works straight from the artist.
A region known for producing the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc. Visit world famous wineries and stop for some lunch at a vineyard restaurant.
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman offers a great mix of adventure and relaxation. Follow the Coastal Track (it takes 3-5 days to complete), rest along the gorgeous beaches and sleep under the stars to really experience the spirit of nature.
Christchurch & Canterbury
Population: Circa 381,500 (largest region in the South Island)
Climate: A climate of extremes – the region has the least rainfall and the greatest range of temperatures.
Great for: Whale Watching, Bungee jumping, Mountain biking
The largest city in the South Island. Known as the ‘Garden City’. You’ll find large parks such as the Christchurch Adventure Park where you experience excellent mountain biking trails and exhilarating ziplines or the Christchurch Botanic gardens where you’ll find some of the finest collections of exotic and native plants in the country.
New Zealand’s highest mountain is surrounded by a landscape of glaciers, mountain streams, icebergs and glacial lakes. It’s a great place for walks and hikes (from 30 mins to multi-day tours) as well as stargazing.
Population: Circa 32,900
Climate: A bit wetter than other regions and experiences snow in winter, but has mild summers
Great for: Coastal drives, exploring rugged wilderness, Walking the glaciers, Hunting and fishing
Punakaiki is home to the unusual rock formations known as ‘Pancake Rocks’. An easily accessible track leads to limestone rocks and blowholes. Make sure you visit during high tide.
Fishing, fishing and fishing!
From deep sea fishing and fly fishing, to surfcasting and whitebaiting, if you love the peace and solitude of fishing, the West Coast has it all.
The Outdoor Enthusiast’s Playground
We’ve included these altogether as we can’t just pick three highlights for this region! Walk the Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers, go caving or mountain bike riding. Enjoy the clean, fresh air and majestic landscapes, with small friendly communities, it really feels like you have escaped the rat race.
Dunedin - the Edinburgh of the South
Considered the centre of academic excellence in NZ, Dunedin (which means “Little Edinburgh” in Gaelic), is home to NZ's oldest University and is a real melting pot of cultures and people. Featuring restaurants and cafés, art galleries, theatre and a lively music scene, it's a small city with a great vibe – it's also a great place to see seals, penguin and albatross colonies.
Kiwis on Stewart Island
How can you go to New Zealand and not see a kiwi?! If you visit the ecological wonderland that is Stewart Island, you can take a “spotting tour” to see these protected and very special birds. A real treat as they are nocturnal and very shy.