The world's ultimate outdoor playground
Also known by its Maori name, Te Waipounamu, this long land mass is a third bigger than its northern sibling. Separated from the North Island by the Cook Strait, its length is spanned by the glorious Southern Alps, home to the country’s highest peak, Aoraki (Mount Cook). Less populous than the north, it’s colder in winter and drier in summer, making it the ideal playground for pleasure seekers of all persuasions.
After a gold rush that saw it swarmed by prospectors during the 1860s, the South Island boasts a colonial history that’s as rich as its soil, which also produces some world-class wine grapes. The island’s elongated shape makes it ideal for long drives, with must-see sights ranging from Milford Sound and Fiordland on the west coast to Christchurch and Dunedin on the east, with stunning resort towns Queenstown and Wanaka nestled in between.
Cheap as: how to do Dunedin on a budget
It’s easy to have a blast without splashing cash in this historic town.
Dunedin with kids: fun things to do
Kids and adults alike will love this compact, historic city.
Queenstown with kids: choice fun for the whole family
How to have a right royal holiday that’s fun for kids and grown-ups.
Christchurch on a budget: best things to do
Planning a budget-friendly break in Christchurch? We’ve got some handy hints just for you.
Christchurch with kids: the best family-friendly things to do
Planning a family trip to Christchurch? Here’s plenty of fun for you and your crew.
Queenstown on a budget: the best things to do
How to have a five-star holiday without breaking the bank in Queenstown.
Great Scot! The best things to do in Dunedin
Explore Dunedin, a unique New Zealand city with a very Scottish heart.
Where old meets new: the best things to do in Christchurch
Simultaneously historic and contemporary, Christchurch is captivating.