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.
Queenstown's reputation as the adventure capital of New Zealand is well-founded but that's less than half the story; for every bungy jump there's a fabulous scenic lookout, for every jet boat a serene lake cruise. Being a ski resort as well, it's a true year-round destination for all but if you prefer your hideaways a little further off the beaten track there's also nearby Wanaka, another picture postcard lakeside setting and one with a burgeoning reputation for beauty and tranquillity.
Neighbouring Fiordland's enchanting glacier-cut valleys, cascading waterfalls and ancient, undisturbed forest are on everyone's 'to do' list, rightly so, and the pinnacle of many stunning scenic flights within New Zealand is surely the route back from Milford Sound to Queenstown, over lakes, mountains, waterfalls and forests.
No introduction to the South Island would be complete without mention of the internationally acclaimed Marlborough sauvignon blancs. The sunshine-rich town of Blenheim is the ideal base from which to explore the vineyards and sample some of their wares - purely in the interests of quality control of course!
Blanket Bay, Glenorchy is at once elegant but rustic, a perennial award winner designed in the grand style of the finest alpine lodges. At the quiet, northern end of Lake Wakatipu, guests in search of peace will find this their perfect retreat, spending contemplative hours drinking in endless mountain views. Superb cuisine is a given but what sets this lodge apart is easy access to so many high quality activities. A luxury lodge set within 600 acres of stunning wine country,
South Island Holidays Fact File
HIGH SEASON November - March
FLIGHT DURATION 25 hours
UK AIRPORT OPTIONS London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh
DIRECT FLIGHTS No
COUNTRY COMBINATIONS Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Doha, Dubai, Pacific Islands,
CURRENCY New Zealand dollar
TIME DIFFERENCE + 13 hours
A FEW OTHER SUGGESTIONS...
Huka Lodge, Lake Taupo
Blanket Bay Lodge, Lake Wakatipu
Treetops Lodge, Rotorua
SKYCITY Grand Hotel
Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay
Wharekauhau Country Estate, Palliser Bay
EXPERIENCE Over 40 years' experience delivering award winning luxury holidays.
EXPERTISE We've visited every property featured in our portfolio.
PRICE We can always source a better price than you can source direct.
SERVICE We pride ourselves on our service. The answer is yes, now what's the question?