0800 482 776
0800 482 776
0800 482 776
0800 482 776
There’s a distinct reason why New Zealand’s South Island is sometimes called the mainland – the natural beauty ensures this island commands attention and inspires exploration. From the tranquillity of the Fiordland National Park, to the dizzying heights of Arthur’s Pass National Park and the incredible coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park – this is an outdoor enthusiast’s wonderland.
The British established the first South Island settlement at Bluff on the south coast in 1823. But it wasn’t until the gold rush of the 1860s that the population grew significantly. Today, despite being 33 per cent larger than the North Island, the southern landmass houses only 24 per cent of the country’s population. Visitors don’t come to the South Island for pulsating mega-cities and a pumping night life. Travellers come to Te Wai Pounamu, the Maori name for the region, for the natural attractions.
The South Island has a temperate climate. In summer the air temperature averages around 22 degrees, while in winter the mercury rises to 11 degrees. The South Island is a year round destination depending on your preferred outdoor activities. Summer is obviously the best season to trek through the incredible wilderness, while winter is heaven for skiers and snowboarders.
There are many festivals and events held on the South Island including The Christchurch Arts Festival, an International Jazz Festival in Queenstown and the Dunedin Fringe Festival.
The South Island of New Zealand offers 1 main International Airport - Christchurch. The majority of long-haul international flights will arrive in Auckland in the North Island, while flights from Australia to New Zealand utilise a wider range of international airports including Wellington and Christchurch. The country's national carrier is Air New Zealand
Christchurch and Queenstown boast beautifully-appointed five-star accommodation to ensure you’re completely rested for the day’s physical activities. Throughout the island are charming B&Bs set amongst rural serenity that encourage relaxation and rejuvenation.
Walking or tramping as it’s known in NZ is serious business. The main treks, through jaw-dropping scenery, generally take several days. With an organised walking tour, the organiser takes care of all of the arrangements including food, leaving you to appreciate the natural beauty. Contact us for more information.
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 0800 482 776 or enquire online.
With a population of around 370,000 people, Christchurch is the South Island’s largest city. A stroll around town is extremely rewarding especially through the Botanic Gardens, Riccarton Bush and along the canals. Similarly Dunedin, about five hours drive south of Christchurch, is a beautiful city.
However the true beauty of the South Island is the spectacular scenery – terrain that was immortalised for posterity in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The established hiking routes are world famous. Names such as the Milford Track, the Abel Tasman Coast Track, the Routeburn Track or the Queen Charlotte Track engender feelings of inspirational beauty. Most routes take several days to complete in their entirety; however day trips are equalling rewarding.
The big ticket attractions on the South Island include a boat trip on the serene Milford Sound, trekking the Franz Josef Glacier and skiing the slopes outside Queenstown. Equally awe-inspiring but less popular include exploration of Doubtful Sound, spotting wildlife on the Otago Peninsula or trekking around Mt Cook.
Christchurch and Dunedin are modern, cosmopolitan cities, so the chances are, if you accidentally forget your favourite moisturiser for example, it’s easily replaced at a local chemist or supermarket. Outside metropolitan NZ, it may be harder to find specialised items, so stock up before travelling into the beautiful New Zealand countryside.
Most travellers find Kiwis friendly, welcoming and very hospitable. Maori traditions and culture are entwined into general Kiwi culture.
A highlight of a visit to New Zealand is a traditional Maori dinner feast and performance. This generally includes a powhiri, a welcome ceremony with original instruments, song and dance. The feast includes food cooked beneath the ground in earth ovens. The haka, made internationally-famous through rugby, is also performed at these special evenings.
Ultraviolet radiation is particularly intense in New Zealand, with rates of skin cancer being particularly high. Always wear sunscreen and a cap when enjoying outdoor activities.
Before tramping, always check the weather forecast and proceed accordingly. New Zealand’s weather is prone to sudden fluctuations, so always pack for extreme variations in the conditions.
Contact us to tailor-make your experience.
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