There is nothing quite as picturesque as South Island in New Zealand. Nearly one-third of this idyllic paradise is either designated as a park or a reserve meaning there is plenty of wilderness to explore. And there are many ways to explore it, too.
The West Coast is the site of many geological wonders. Here you can kayak in the sea or along rivers or hike over glaciers and through rainforests. Okarito Lagoon provides a lush wetland landscape replete with a diverse and spectacular flora to enjoy at your leisure including a saltmarsh.
There are two glaciers to choose from, the Fox and the Franz, each a formidable adversary with spectacular views. From towering heights, these majestic peaks wind their way back down to sea level.
When it comes to hiking tracks, there are several that should be on the diehard trekkers “to-do” list. Both the Routeburn and Kepler tracks traverse scenery including alpine lakes, crystal clear rivers and valleys with lush forests.
The Milford Sound is a great place to plan an overnight stay during your excursion because of the unique opportunities it provides. Another great stopover point is Queenstown. This setting can accommodate almost any activity you could conceive of before you resume your journey.
Mt. Cook National Park is another location that offers a wide range of scenery types to enjoy. Here you can find everything from native bush to glaciers and soaring peaks.
If you aren’t familiar with South Island, it is the larger of the two main islands that make up New Zealand. It has a smaller population than the North Island but is often referred to as the mainland. To the north is Cook Strait and to the west is the Tasman Sea. The island has a temperate climate year round.
While hiking and kayaking are definitely popular activities, they are not the only things you can do for fun on South Island. This popular tourist destination also caters to those with a taste for other types of adventure. Adventure tourism might include Bungee jumping, glacier climbing, camping and tramping on multiple day outings. Some locations such as the Milford track are known around the world while others are local secrets waiting to be unearthed by the truly adventurous.
From rugged coastlines to sweeping plains, South Island offers one of the most diverse geological treasure troves waiting to be discovered. You can plan your own excursion or hire on with a tour company that will organize your travel arrangements. Either way, an outdoor adventure vacation on New Zealand’s South Island is likely to be the vacation of a lifetime.
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