"Fabulous scenery, the friendliest people" Top 5 Page for this destination South Island by TheWanderingCamel

South Island Travel Guide: 6,035 reviews and 16,249 photos


If ever a poll was taken to see which place most deserved the name of "God's Own Country", the South Island of New Zealand would surely be likely to come top of the list. With its glorious scenery, pristine rivers, wide open spaces and landscapes of infinite variety, no time spent here is ever enough to take in all the island has to offer.

MrL and I have been coming here regularly now for the last ten years - we come at Easter for the fabulous 'Warbirds Over Wanaka" airshow and then take a few more days to take in a visit to somewhere new or to revisit a favourite place - and there is still so much for us to discover and enjoy. So this page is a work in progress, a summary of past visits and with no end in sight.

With Wanaka the focus of every visit, we've spent most of our time in the region of central Otago, but we've wandered further afield over the years - to the stunning fiords and glaciers of the West Coast, the sounds and vineyards of the Marlborough region in the north of the island, the wide plains of Canterbury, the beautiful Banks Peninsula. Cities and towns - pretty little Christchurch, French-influenced Akaroa, Scots-inspired Dunedin, glitzy Queenstown, laid-back Wanaka, historic Arrowtown, gracious Oamaru - tiny hamlets, even ghost towns - all have their own story to tell. And everywhere you go - wonderfully friendly people, good food, great coffee ( I don't think I've ever had a bad cup of coffee in New Zealand, top marks from this coffee-nut), some seriously good and interesting wines, accommodation to suit every pocket. It's no wonder the place has become a must-see destination for so many people. We've certainly noticed a huge increase in visitors in some places, but it is relative - we're not talking European-type hordes - there's still plenty of room here for both the visitors and the locals.

Just home from 2008's show, we've already booked our bed for 2010's Warbirds. This year we revisited Akaroa and then headed right to the southern-most tip of the island - and beyond - visiting Stewart Island for the first time - before keeping our appointment with the planes and pilots at Wanaka.

What will it be next time? .... an overnight cruise on Milford Sound is top of my list but the boat mail run in the Malborough Sounds would be fun too.
Helihiking on Mt Cook? The train ride through Arthur's Pass? ....


  • Last visit to South Island: Mar 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (29)

Comments (17)

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    That is a really excellent page for my coming trip to NZ, I am just afraid I will not have enough time to explore that all !

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2009 at 5:56 AM

    Oh my, how come that I didn't know this page before, Leyle? So many fascinating things to see, I definitely would love to see the Southern Cross from there :-) And penguins, Moeraki boulders, and this cute lighthouse :-)

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2009 at 8:26 PM

    If some day I can make it to New Zealand, South Island will certainly be the part that I will enjoy the most. I did not know that there had been French settlers in this place! The glacier is awsome! To spend a night in an observatory is a dream!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    Alluring descriptions of South Island. I appreciate your attentive insights and bewitching photographs. Your comprehensive narratives are a joy to read.

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    A nice peek into South Island--I found the penguins and glaciers very interesting, as well as, the observatory and other sites. How's the knee coming along??

  • thedouglas's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2006 at 12:02 PM

    Back looking on a mission - daughter visiting the South Island soon! Great tips - saved for her study!

  • aussiejen's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2006 at 12:48 PM

    One day I will return home to NZ and check out the South Island! Looks beautiful.

  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2006 at 2:48 AM

    Hi TWC! Great informative pages on South Island! Blu

  • Canadian_Traveler's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2006 at 9:57 AM

    Fabulous photos and great tips! It's hard not to fall in love with NZ. :0

  • desert_princess's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2006 at 8:34 AM

    Looks like my kind of place...."pinguins crossing"..hahaaa...that cracked me up!! Thanx for telling usabout this magical land....

TheWanderingCamel Visits Here Frequently!

Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 2 6
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 6 3

Badges & Stats in South Island

  • 137 Reviews
  • 391 Photos
  • 44 Forum posts
  • 4,959PageViews
  • 3 Cities

Have you been to South Island?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in South Island

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)