You have a quick visit on the Southisland and only time to visit the 5 most beautiful spots? Here we go:
It took me 3 weeks with the car to get around the southisland. I wouldn’t take less time, rather more!
- Start: Christchurch,
- Stop: Christchurch
Southisland Nr.1 is Lake Tekapo
Usually I recommend the YHA hostel but this time I recommend the Lakefront Lodge Backpackers. In the living room you have a beautiful view over the lake and the quality of the hostel is really good. Just 5 minutes walk away are the Hot pools and they are worth a visit! You also get a beautiful view over the lake from the pools.
Go for a hike on Mt. John, the view is also adorable on top.
Drive to Mt. Cook, the highest Mountain in New Zealand.
Southisland Nr. 2 is Milford Sound
Milford Sound is one of the most popular places in New Zealand. Very touristic place all year around! It is a huge national park with only one street. You only get to the national park from Te Anau (Te Anau is also a beautiful little town. It has a nice lake and heaps of beautiful hiking tracks like the Kepler Track). You also have heaps of Hiking Tracks in Milford sound, but be careful, some are easy and some are really hard. You shouldn’t go there without a guide. I recommend Trips and Tramps, if you like to book a guide.
At the waterfront you should go on a tour on a boat and watch the incredible beauty of Milford sound! No bookings necessery. Be there early because they leave early and only do a certain number of trips during the day. It is also a waist of time to spend your morning in bed because there is so much to do and to see in this national park. You get the chance to see whales, dolphins or seals on a boat tour.
There is the Hollyford river – it is the longest river in New Zealand and goes to the westcoast.
I recommend to visit the Humboldt Waterfall – named after a german guy – second highest waterfall in nz.
Southisland Nr. 3 is Lake Wanaka
For water lovers a beautiful place. We only spend there one night on a camping place but I seriously loved it.
Southisland Nr. 4 is Punakaiki
The drive on the westcoast was at first a little bit disapointed but then it started to be awesome. My favourite spot on the westcoast is Punakaiki. Unfortunetly we only found one camping spot that we had to pay for but it is still a beautiful small town.
Southisland Nr. 5 is Kaikoura – Hanmer springs
Kaikoura is the place to watch dolphins, whales and whatever lives in the water 🙂 the highest chance to see something is there! Book a whale watch tour and enjoy the ride 🙂 if you are unlucky and you wouldn’t see anything you are able to go again and you don’t have to pay for the second ride. Kaikoura itself is a small town and very beautiful with coffee shops and fish and chips at the lakefront.
Hanmer springs is just the next town and worth a visit! You have the chance to visit the hot pools, or enjoy a meal in one of the great restaurants.
One secret tip
Most of the backpackers say there isn’t much to see in the south of the southisland, but from Dunedin to Bluff is a Tourist Drive – Take that road. You will get to beautiful Waterfalls. It is a lonely road and will also get you to beautiful beaches.