Truly the scenic wonderland of New Zealand, it's easy to run out of superlatives when describing an island relatively sparsely populated by man but with an abundance of breathtaking natural gems.

The spectacular Southern Alps run down the spine of the South Island; to their east the patchworked agricultural landscape of the Canterbury plains, the 'english' city of Christchurch and the renowned whale-watching base of Kaikoura; at their heart, the alpine glories of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the Tasman Sea and the imposing mountain chain, making for spectacular contrasts in the surrounding scenery and creating fabulous opportunities for once in a lifetime experiences, such as a helicopter flight up onto the Franz Josef Glacier followed by a guided hike through the glacial ice formations.

The less populated of the two islands, it’s easy to run out of superlatives when describing a place with such a wealth of breathtaking natural wonders. The spectacular Southern Alps run down the spine of the South Island; to their east, the patch worked agricultural landscape of the Canterbury plains, the ‘English’ city of Christchurch and the renowned whale watching base of Kaikoura; at their heart, the alpine glories of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the Tasman Sea and the imposing mountain chain with fabulous opportunities for once in a lifetime experiences, such as a helicopter flight onto the Franz Josef Glacier. Queenstown’s reputation as the adventure capital of New Zealand is well founded, but it’s also a fantastic ski resort too. Off the beaten track there’s nearby Wanaka, a picture postcard lakeside setting with a reputation for tranquillity.

Neighbouring Fiordland’s enchanting glacier cut valleys, cascading waterfalls and ancient forests should be on your ‘to do’ list and the scenic flight back from Milford Sound to Queenstown, over lakes, mountains, waterfalls and forests will take your breath away. Finally, the sunshine rich town of Blenheim is the ideal base from which to explore the vineyards of Marlborough and sample a sauvignon blanc or two.

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Where to go in South Island

Total results: 33
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The George
Hotel

The George

New Zealand
South Island
Christchurch

This five-star hotel is on the doorstep of many of Christchurch’s best attractions, and yet retains a peaceful and secluded atmosphere for guests. The hotel is the only one in the city to feature one staff member per guest, and as such, excellent and attentive service is guaranteed. A member of the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, the hotel offers plush accommodation with top-cla...

Edenhouse
Hotel

Edenhouse

New Zealand
South Island
Nelson

Edenhouse sets the blueprint for what true hospitality should be: warm, friendly and personal, and it’s precisely such attributes that have led this boutique New Zealand lodge to star on many a ‘top hotels’ list over the years. Owners Peter and Bobbie have poured their passions into a 50-acre estate, creating some of the most beautiful gardens you will ever lay your eyes on (thanks to Bobbie’s de...

Marlborough Lodge
Hotel

Marlborough Lodge

New Zealand
South Island
Blenheim

Marlborough Lodge is a place that surprises and enchants guests in equal measures, with its picturesque grounds, sprawling vines and stately house that once served as a convent for nuns in the early 20th century. Your arrival at Marlborough Lodge sets the tone for what’s to come during the rest of your stay, as you enter along a driveway lined by lavender, and staff are already on-hand with a glas...

Cabot Lodge
Hotel

Cabot Lodge

New Zealand
South Island
Fiordland

The beauty of Cabot Lodge is that, in addition to the unbeatable setting, luxe guestrooms, and gourmet homecooked cuisine, you also get the kind of authentic Kiwi experience that just can’t be taught. This is largely thanks to the multi-generation, family-owned farm in which the lodge sits, within no less than 2,000 acres of private land and 4,000 head of sheep on your doorstep, as is nearby Lake ...

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses
Hotel

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses

New Zealand
South Island
Kaikoura

For lovers of the great outdoors, exquisite food and charming company, a stay at Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses fulfil every need. This cleverly built hotel lies 12km up from Kaikoura town, wedged between the Kaikoura Seaward Mountains and Mangamaunu Bay in a setting so picturesque it begs to be admired. Thankfully, Hapuku Lodge has been constructed to maximise the views of this beautiful place, where...

Blanket Bay
Hotel

Blanket Bay

New Zealand
South Island
Queenstown

Blanket Bay lodge lives and breathes the wild New Zealand landscape in which it sits, perched on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with views of Mount Earnslaw on one side and the Humboldt Mountain Range the other. And though the small town of Glenorchy is just a few minutes away, your time at Blanket Bay feels as remote and intimate as any boutique South Island experience. Away from the blissful luxury...

Split Apple Retreat
Hotel

Split Apple Retreat

New Zealand
South Island
Abel Tasman National Park

From the moment you arrive at Split Apple Retreat, on the borders of South Island’s Abel Tasman National Park, there’s no question that this all-inclusive New Zealand lodge is a special place indeed. Exclusive? Yes. The three beautiful suites available here added to bespoke fine dining, private spa treatments, all-around blissful isolation and every aspect of your stay being personal to you, and y...

The Lindis
Hotel

The Lindis

New Zealand
South Island
Ahuriri Valley

Far from competing with the dramatic, craggy mountains which surround it, instead one of New Zealand’s most exclusive luxury adventure retreats goes for smooth sweeping lines, walls of glass and almost every inch clad in birch wood. Inside, you will spend much of your time also in awe at the level of design, abstract angles and attention to detail that has been paid to it all. This is an architect...

Fiordland Lodge
Hotel

Fiordland Lodge

New Zealand
South Island
Fiordland

Tucked away on the shores of Lake Te Anau is Fiordland Lodge, the kind of luxury adventure accommodation that this wonderous landscape deserves. Fiordland Lodge is no ordinary hotel, as everything here has been put in place, crafted and designed to first be of the utmost quality and standard, though secondly to simply let nature take centre stage. One side of the property is constructed almost com...

Come summer or winter, the Hotel St Moritz serves as an excellent base for discovering the countless wonders in and around Queenstown, located as it is right in the middle of town for easy access to all the fantastic restaurants, bars and shops. This boutique-style hotel feels fresh and modern from top to toe, a place of capacious guestrooms and suites dressed in sumptuous tones, all enjoying Lak...

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