People told me the South Island of New Zealand was filled with amazing outdoor activities, but they never mentioned how it’s the most stunning, real world story book fantasy land you’ll ever lay eyes on. Narnia in real life people. It’s absolutely gorgeous.
My jaw was open the whole trip and I’m pretty sure every ten minutes I leaped in excitement over what my eyes were seeing, changing my mind AGAIN that it was my new favorite thing I saw.
I did a TON of research before I left to plan my trip and maximize the time I had there, because I wanted to see all the best things, but let me tell you… 10 days was NOT enough!! It was possible, but I could have easily spent a whole month there and still not scratched the surface of all there is to do in the South Island.
If you’re limited on time too, here are 10 things you MUST SEE while you’re there!! Check out my South Island 10 day trip itinerary to see my route and how I packed all the best things into the time I had!
Probably one of the most beautiful drives through a mountain range ever. I went from Christchurch to Punakaiki and stopped at Castle Hill on the way. It’s where they filmed the battle scene from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe! Massive boulders everywhere. Hang out with the sheep and climb some!
Bring extra syrup for this one because these pancakes are stacked!!! Such a cool thing to see the structure of these rocks and watch the water crash through the blow holes
Franz Joseph Glacier
In lieu of time and in an effort to save money we didn’t do one of the guided tours up into the glacier but if you have the time, book a helicopter tour or treck up into the glacier because the ice caves are stunning!
“That Wanaka Tree”
The famous Wanaka Tree!! Y’all this is crazy. It’s literally a tree that grows in the middle of Lake Wanaka. All by it’s lonesome. Living it’s best life. Check it out!
For all my adventure seeking, thrill nomads out there, Queenstown is going to be your jam. After all, it is the adventure capitol of New Zealand! All things crazy, you name, it Queenstown has it. Skydiving, Bungee jumping, the world’s largest swing, Luging, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, river jet boating etc etc etc. You HAVE to stop at Fergburger. It will be the best burger you’ve ever had and if it’s not, call me and I’ll bake you some cookies to make up for it.
I’ve never seen anything like the Milford Sound. This Fjord was so captivating as we glided through the water in our little catamaran coming up within inches of a waterfall. There are many tours that leave out of Queenstown to get you here and make many pit stops at gorgeous scenic things on the way!
As the tallest mountain in New Zealand, this one’s a looker. The mountain is part of the Mt. Cook National Park, which contains more than 140 peaks standing over 6,600 ft and 72 named glaciers, which cover 40 percent of its 170,000 acres.
Drive through the winding road lined with hills, trees mountains, and of course sheep to get from Wanaka to Queenstown. Parts of The Hobbit were filmed here. Get ready for some serious views.
When we arrived at the beach and saw the moreaki boudlers I legitimately thought I was looking at unhatched dinosaur eggs. I mean look at these rocks!! Don’t they remind you of the trolls on Frozen??
The Banks Peninsula is the perfect spot for an afternoon getaway on the beach. Go explore down one of the winding roads and you might even find a beach to yourself like we did.
I hope these tips help you when deciding what to see in the South Island! Don’t forget to subscribe and check out my 10 day itinerary for the South Island.
Xx Nicole #DoStuff