Top Things To Do In New Zealand’s South Island

The darling of New Zealand and the not-so-secretly better of the two islands is the South Island. It’s massive. It’s dramatic. It’s wild. It’s the adventure capital. It’s epic.

It’s a country that tempts you to get up close and your hands a little dirty as well. Here are my top favourite places and activities that everyone should have on their bucket list when planning a trip to NZ.

Pancake Rocks

As the tide rises, so too does the intensity of the water that surges up the small openings found here, creating a huge wall of spray.

Shotover Jet

You’re zigging and zagging through narrow canyon rock walls that look like they could immediately bash you in, but the pilot so skillfully glides along the water like a choreographed dance.

You see Kiwi birds as stuffed animals on key chains, paper weights, postcards, and stickers, but you’ll never see them in real life unless you do one of two things.

Visit A Kiwi Bird Centre

Skydiving above the Abel Tasman

See how the coast wraps up towards Nelson and Picton, the mountains, river outlets, and the famous Abel Tasman National Park. You can see it all from 16,500, 13,000, or 9,000 feet.

Milford Sound

The best way to see the whole fjord is to get on a cruise. Along the way, you’ll see thunderous waterfalls, the iconic Mitre Peak, towering mountains on both sides, and wildlife as well.

Wineries of Marlborough

Hemmed between the mountain and the sea, the northeast part of the South Island is geologically perfect for sauvignon blanc, but you’ll also find excellent pinot noir, riesling, and chardonnay.

Next steps

More amazing travel inspiration in the blog post!