New Zealand, the South Island. Travel to that Gem Down Under....

South Island interesting pictures

Glorious Dawn
Glorious Dawn
White water rafting
White water rafting
Sheep Shearing
Sheep Shearing

Part 2 South Island

New Zealand has two distinct Islands with different flavors. They are divided by a stretch of water, the Cook Strait and joined by a high speed ferry, landing at Picton. Though much larger than the North Island, its population is a fraction of the North Island's. South Islanders often jokingly call themselves the Mainland!

The South Island shares the same ability to grow and prepare first class wines. The Northern tip is favored with a mild climate perfect for fruit growing, especially grapes. The Marlborough area is world famous. Many wine tasting cellar doors offer the traveller a chance to taste the Vintage. Fruit is sold straight off the farms by the road side.

As you drive south towards Dunedin there is so much to see. The coast line on the east side of the island has mile upon mile of unspoilt coast line with magnificent beaches full of wild life. You pass Kaikoura, home of Whale Watching. The town also sports many good sea food restaurants. On the North West tip is the much favored town of Nelson. Sporting activities like kite surfing. Cycling, swimming and sun bathing abound here. It has a mild and sunny year round climate and is an ideal place for retirement.

Carry on for while and you reach Christchurch on the Canterbury plains. This city was designed in England, unfortunately by someone who was not familiar with the southern hemisphere. Instead of houses built to take advantage of the natural sun facing North into the southern sun, they were designed to face south as they are in the northern hemisphere. The position of the sun takes a while to get used to if you are not from the southern hemisphere. Christchurch is a university city with all that goes with it, boat races on the River Avon, coffee bars and a lively atmosphere. There are lots of shops aimed at wealthy Japanese tourists selling cashmere, merino and Alpaca garments of superb quality. It is also home of the Britten Motor Cycle designed and raced by the late John Britten who sadly passed on at the untimely age of 45. The cataclysmic earthquake has destroyed so many of its old buildings and is still shaking. Many areas will never be rebuilt.

Back on the road you pass over the Canterbury plains for many miles until the rising land of Otago start to greet you. At Timaru you may branch west to seek out the southern Alps with its superb ski fields. Queenstown and its accompanying Lake Tekapo is not to be missed. Air Safari is based here with wonderful air trips to explore the Southern Alps and the amazing Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Follow the grand Traverse to the Western slopes of the Southern Alps. A trip not to be missed. Every passenger is ensured a window seat for greatest enjoyment.

On the Western coast, there are deep fjords and wonderful walking paths. The Milford Track being one of the most famous so much so that early booking is advised . Further up the West coast is the town of Greymouth famous for logging. It is near the steep and spectacular Arthur's pass. The area was chosen for his final home by Jacque Cousteau, his Oceanographer son still lives there.

Going back to the east coast continue on to the Moeraki boulders. This is an amazing collection of perfectly round big boulders which gives the impression that a giant has just abandoned a game of Marbles. To be seen to be believed!

On to Dunedin, a town purported to be more Scottish than Scotland. It boasts the famous University of Otago. It has a beautiful Botanic Garden. On the Otago peninsular, at Taiaroa Head the homes of the giant Albatross and the yellow eyed penguins may be found. The beach boasts a hot water area where you can dig your own hot pool. The shopping is second to none. Dunedin also boasts New Zealands's only Castle, Larnarch's Castle. You may catch the train back up to Picton from the architecturally splendid Railway station.

Further South is the city of Invercargill and on to Stewart Island and next stop Antarctica. There is so much to see and do in the beautiful South Island. This just a taste of these southern delights.

South Island High Lights

moeraki beach
moeraki beach
Moeraki Boulders
Moeraki Boulders
Coast Road
Coast Road
Penguins on the Beach Otago
Penguins on the Beach Otago
Young Albatross
Young Albatross
Gorge near Arthur's Pass
Gorge near Arthur's Pass
Milford Sound home of the late Jacques Cousteau, World famous Oceanographer
Milford Sound home of the late Jacques Cousteau, World famous Oceanographer
Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier

More by this Author


Comments 23 comments

jajeisan5892 profile image

jajeisan5892 7 years ago from Los Angeles

Sounds Beautiful...

looking forward to reading more of your travels.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for the comment,jajeisan. more coming up!


Kushal Poddar profile image

Kushal Poddar 7 years ago from Kolkata,India

Very alluring.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

It certainly is, Kushal. So much to see and do there. Thanks for the comment.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I still hope to visit one day.


ralwus 7 years ago

What wonderful pictures you have. The second one at first looked like some Christmas thing with snow and pretty ornaments. Then I read the caption and looked again to finally make out the yellow raft and helmets. I bet those people were cold. hehe thanks for sharing.


men are dorks profile image

men are dorks 7 years ago from Namibia

Very pretty, and as sweetypie said, love to visit soon...


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Every one will make you very welcome including me!Thanks MaD

Ralwus you would be at home in all that water!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Gypsy, you've done it again. I got quite an education here about the South Island. You make it seem heavenly. And I'm sure it is. Thank you.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi James, it is!


sheenarobins profile image

sheenarobins 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Gypsy!

Interesting hub! I've only heard of the place. It's quite interesting to know more about it. Love the pictures, too.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Well worth a visit, I know you would enjoy it. Thanks for the comment!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

You sure get around the planet Gypsy, (your name seems somewhat appropriate). Then you find every nook and cranny worth experiencing and then come back to tell us about it! Awesome.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hey Alexander, Life is not a trial run is it? Actually I did a quiz on hippy names on facebook and that was the answer and I like it! Glad you are enjoying my travel vicariously! Thanks for the comment


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi LV I know you will enjoy it, thanks for the comment.


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

Cool we have twin hubs Gypsy. I went to a Polytech class with John Brittens widow,awesome lady.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Wow! How is she doing? Thanks for the comment.


Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 6 years ago from Georgia USA

My husband are thinking of vacation here, so this is great info for us. Thanks so much.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Have a wonderful trip. So much to see and do there. Thanks for the kind comment.

Check out my other hubs on New Zealand (see above)


AuriFin profile image

AuriFin 6 years ago

I loved the way you brought me back to our recent vacation to NZ, Gypsy Willow, thank you for sharing :)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Aurifin, glad to be of assistance. New Zealand is a wonderful place. Thanks for the comment.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thank you for this wonderful look at one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Visited in 1993 and would love to go back. My children say Milford Sound is where God invented waterfalls!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Kathleen thanks for the visit. Milford Sound is where Jacque Cousteau decided to live out the end of his life so he could study and enjoy its diversity and beauty. says lots about it, doesn't it?

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