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South Island

4.5
Entertainment Centers · Bodies of Water · Hiking Trails
Māui's Canoe
The wilder of New Zealand's two main islands, South Island offers a feast of nature in all its glory. Extensive, untouched plains connect alpine landscapes with rugged shorelines, creating a home for an abundance of animals and vegetation, on land and in the rich surrounding waters. Renowned as a window to the natural world before man (something that scores of film directors have tapped into over the years), South Island folds its cities and townships into the surrounding landscape, their populations adding something singular to the mix. On your trip to South Island, you'll witness the awe-inspiring cultural heritage of the Maori, whose art and architecture complements the developments of the colonial legacy. The result is a land of characterful buildings, rolling vineyards, and free-spirited adventure. Use our New Zealand itinerary maker to plan your trip to South Island and other destinations in New Zealand.
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Places to visit in South Island

Queenstown Trip planner BEST FOR: Entertainment Center, Water Sport, Spa Te Anau Trip planner BEST FOR: World heritage site, Water Body, Cave Christchurch Trip planner BEST FOR: Garden, Specialty Museum, Church Fox Glacier Trip planner BEST FOR: World heritage site, Hiking Trail, Scenic Walking Area Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) Trip planner BEST FOR: World heritage site, Hiking Trail, Observatory

Popular things to do in South Island

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Milford Sound ©
Water Body
Milford Sound Te Anau
4.8
Duration: 4 hours
Doubtful Sound ©
Water Body
Doubtful Sound Te Anau
4.7
Duration: 8 hours
Franz Josef Glacier ©
World heritage site
Franz Josef Glacier Franz Josef
4.5
Duration: 2h 30 min
Skyline Queenstown ©
Entertainment Center
Skyline Queenstown Queenstown
4.5
Duration: 3 hours

Hidden gems in South Island

Kepler Track ©
Hiking Trail
Kepler Track Te Anau
4.8
Duration: 8 hours
Hollyford Track ©
Hiking Trail
Hollyford Track Fiordland National Park
5.0
Duration: 8 hours
©
Kayaking / Canoeing
Kayaking & Canoeing Te Anau
4.5
Duration: 8 hours
Routeburn Track ©
Hiking Trail
Routeburn Track
4.9
Duration: 8 hours

Nature in South Island

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Te Anau Glowworm Caves ©
Cave
Te Anau Glowworm Caves Te Anau
4.1
Duration: 2h 30 min
Lake Te Anau ©
Water Body
Lake Te Anau Te Anau
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
Lake Wanaka ©
Water Body
Lake Wanaka Wanaka
4.9
Duration: 4 hours
Lake Tekapo
Water Body
Lake Tekapo Lake Tekapo
4.7
Duration: 2 hours

Wildlife in South Island

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©
Dolphin / Whale Watching
Dolphin & Whale Watching Kaikoura
4.3
Duration: 3h 30 min
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Wildlife Area
Kiwi Birdlife Park Queenstown
4.3
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Fishing Charter / Tour
Fishing Charters & Tours Te Anau
4.9
Duration: 3 hours
©
Dolphin / Whale Watching
Dolphin & Whale Watching Akaroa
4.9
Duration: 2 hours

Trails in South Island

Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
World heritage site
Fox Glacier South Side Walk Fox Glacier
3.6
Duration: 2h 30 min
Abel Tasman Coast Track ©
Hiking Trail
Abel Tasman Coast Track Abel Tasman National Park
4.7
Duration: 8 hours
Mount Fox Route ©
Hiking Trail
Mount Fox Route Fox Glacier
4.7
Duration: 4 hours

Museums in South Island

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Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Specialty Museum
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum Dunedin
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
Canterbury Museum ©
History Museum
Canterbury Museum Christchurch
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
International Antarctic Centre ©
Specialty Museum
International Antarctic Centre Christchurch
4.2
Duration: 2 hours
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Specialty Museum
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Blenheim
4.8
Duration: 1h 30 min
The Ivy Box ©
Art Gallery
The Ivy Box Queenstown
4.6
Duration: 30 minutes
Lake Wanaka Cruises ©
Boat Tour
Lake Wanaka Cruises Wanaka
4.8
Duration: 2h 30 min
Orana Wildlife Park ©
Zoo
Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
4.1
Duration: 3 hours
Pelorus Eco Adventures ©
Kayaking / Canoeing
Pelorus Eco Adventures Havelock
4.9
Duration: 4 hours