Destinations: New Zealand’s South Island

When you venture south on the Interislander, a ferry between the islands, you meander through stretches of rough sea and mountains. A quick peek overboard and you will see dolphins swimming alongside in the sparkling waters of the sea.

With endless mountains, a surfing hotspot, glaciers, waterfalls and abundant sea life, NZ’s south island is one of those holidays you have always wished for.

From whale watching to jumping off a 200 meter high bridge, the people in the south can accommodate any adventure you set out to have.


In the south island, every square kilometer is a photo op. Long flat lands in the east lead to mountains and cliffs hanging over the South Pacific Ocean, home to the beautiful sperm whales.

Kaikoura is an old time whaling port town towards the north east of the island. Today, it is used as a base for water adventures. Be it swimming with dolphins or spotting the world’s largest mammal, this two horse town is definitely on the must visit list.

Head on south to Dunedin, if you have what it takes to climb Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest street. Fondly called Dunners, this city is what the south is made of. Cold oceans, penguins, Speights beer, rugby and the Medical University of Otago are the central theme here.

Glaciers, avalanches, waterfalls, the southern lights in the sky and an untouched stretch of mountainous land is what New Zealand is about and you’ll find all this co-existing peacefully in Milford Sound.

If that doesn’t fill you up, try the more visited tourist spots around the South Island. Queenstown, Mount Cook, Fox Glacier, Greymouth, Nelson and Christchurch.

You might also enjoy grabbing your own set of wheels and a map and be your own tour guide if you’re a true adventurer.


Harry’s is a small Fish-and-Chip shop that is a sure shot visit.  Hidden away, unless you take the time to find it, in Lyttleton, this husband and wife run outfit has a queue for miles on end for its crabs and lobsters that are the size of footballs.

The South Island is also famous for its cheese, wine and beer. Every nook in the south has its own dairy, winery and brewery, fiercely guarded with regional pride.

While the variety of food might not range wide, what you can get your hands on is (as they’d say in south) as good as gold.


Sheep outnumber people 7 to 1 in the south island; this can only mean good for those of you who love woolen clothing. Cautionary warning though – high supply doesn’t mean cheap prices.

Shop for jade stones, bone carvings, authentic rugby wear and music for great souvenirs.

Also, a bottle of pinot noir from the Marlboro County is a great gift idea for those unfortunate souls you left behind.

Most people come to New Zealand to fulfill their dream holiday and like a reliable old friend, it does not disappoint you one bit.