New Zealand’s South Island hosts the purest natural landscapes you’ll ever experience. From wildlife to wineries, glacial valleys to star-filled skies, the South Island offers adventure in all its forms. Choose to explore just one region, or road trip from Picton all the way down to Bluff.
- Cruise the Milford Sound/Piopiotahi. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is often touted as one of the most beautiful places to visit in New Zealand. Located in Fiordland National Park, this fiord is home to dramatic scenery, with steep mountains and waterfalls.
- Visit Doubtful Sound/Patea. Doubtful Sound is a nearby neighbor of the Milford Sound. At 40 km long, it is the second largest fiord in New Zealand (the Milford Sound is just 17.5 kilometers long).
- Get Your Adrenaline Fix in Queenstown (Tāhuna) This lovely town sits on Lake Wakatipu and is known as the Adventure Capital of the World. Queenstown | Best Things to Do on the South Island.
- Go Bungy Jumping. One of the best things to do in New Zealand is bungy jumping. Bungy jumping got its start in Queenstown, at the Kawarau Bridge in 1988.
- Marvel at Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Aoraki / Mt Cook, Christchurch - Canterbury. Experience the beauty of Aoraki/Mount Cook on foot. Enjoy a birds eye view of the area from the air on a scenic flight or go on a boat trip with Glacier Explorers on the only accessible glacial lake with icebergs in the world.
- Visit New Zealand's only castle. Lanarch Castle, Dunedin. Built by William Larnach in 1871, the Larnach castle is the only one of its kind in New Zealand.
- Go native bird spotting on Rakiura/Stewart Island. Meet a weka in its natural habitat, Stewart Island - Rakiura. Stewart Island is home to New Zealand's largest and most diverse bird population.
- Discover the majestic Milford and Doubtful Sounds. Milford Sound, Fiordland. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Fiordland National Park features Milford and Doubtful Sounds which you can explore by boat, air or on foot.
Oct 17, 2023 · South Island, island, the larger and southernmost of the two principal islands of New Zealand, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. South Island is separated from North Island to the north by Cook Strait and from Stewart Island to the south by Foveaux Strait.
- The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
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The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi),  making it the world's 12th-largest island, constituting 56% of New Zealand's land area. At low altitude, it has an oceanic climate . The South Island is shaped by the Southern Alps which run along it from north to south.
- 150,437 km² (58,084 sq mi)
- 1,201,300 (June 2022)
- 840 km (522 mi)
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Apr 26, 2022 · The South Island of New Zealand may be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Filled with lush hot springs, incredible mountains, and quirky towns, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Whether you’re planning a weeks-long road trip or a weekend getaway, here is an ultimate list of the 33 best places to visit on the South Island!