The South Island of New Zealand has become one of the most popular tourist destinations due to its various natural attractions — magnificent fjords, splendid beaches, breath-taking glacier-carved mountain ranges, and diverse flora and fauna.
South Island is known for its adventure tourism, where the bold and daring can try bungee jumping, glacier climbing, skiing, hiking, camping, and kayaking. It has several hiking paths, with the Milford Track as the most recognized, where visitors can take a walk and indulge in the lushness and abundance of the sights around them.
Christchurch is the largest city in South Island. It has a flourishing ecosystem that boasts of a wide array of wildlife. There’s the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, for instance. It offers visitors a glimpse of New Zealand’s many different wildlife such as wallabies, kiwi birds, water eels, lemurs, and keas. There’s also the Christchurch Botanic Gardens where native New Zealand flora grow, with the Avon River adding to the exotic feel of the whole environment.
The Fiordland National Park, which is among the largest national parks in the country, is also located in South Island, covering an area of 12,500 square kilometers. This world heritage site enables tourists to get a good view of one of the country’s highest mountains, the Mount Aspiring/Tititea.
South Island’s Fiordland National Park is where some of the world famous fiords are located. A long time ago, when it was much cooler, glacial activities resulted to the carving of numerous deep fiords in the area. Today, these fiords have become the most visited sites in South Island, with Milford Sound as the leader of the pack. The other fiords that should not be missed are the Dusky Sound and Doubtful Sound.
On South Island’s west coast, there is a small district where visitors can go to revel in the rich natural scenery of the surroundings. The place is called Punakaiki, home to the renowned Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. These pancake-like limestone formations were formed around 30 millions years ago through the solidification of various compounds, and seismic activities. Visitors have the option to join an organized walk to see the landscape, blowholes, and surge pools up close.
With all these wonderful tourist attractions that promise to enrich everybody’s life experiences, South Island is indeed a treasure that travelers should place on top of their must-see lists.