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Discover some of the most fascinating and diverse landscapes you are ever likely to encounter in New Zealand’s South Island. Its sprawling national parks act as outdoor playgrounds for the adventurous, while its buzzing cities and friendly locals welcome visitors with open arms.
Uncover the South Island’s most dramatic scenery in Fiordland National Park. Take a cruise through Milford Sound or tackle one of the country’s great walks: the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn tracks.
Head to the home of adventure sports, Queenstown, located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Here you can do everything from bungee jumping and skydiving to jet boating and river rafting.
Soak up the Scottish heritage of Dunedin, a university city with a vibrant nightlife scene. From here, it is just a short drive to the Otago Peninsula, where one of the world’s rarest penguin colonies make their home.
Relax in Tekapo Springs Hot Pools which overlooks the majestic Lake Tekapo and features a huge inflatable waterslide. Ride the scenic TranzAlpine train from Greymouth to Christchurch, one of New Zealand’s largest cities. Sip the local pinot noir wines produced in vineyards of the Central Otago region and the sauvignon blancs produced in lush Marlborough.
Go kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park, whose sheltered bays are home to dolphins and seals. Hike through Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and marvel at the top of New Zealand's highest peak, all while watching out for mischievous mountain parrots.
Aside from its stunning sights on the ground, the South Island is also one of the best places in the world for stargazing. Low light pollution and numerous observatories show off constellations spectacularly, with a large swath of the island officially recognized as an International Dark Sky Reserve.
Fly directly into Christchurch Airport or catch a connecting flight from Auckland. Rent a car or ride the efficient public buses to explore the island to its fullest. Visit during fall or spring for the best all-round weather and fewer crowds.
The South Island is rugged and beautiful, a place to fulfil once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2018, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.