New Zealand - Northern South Island

(100% recommendation)

Sightseeing

Beaches & water

Nature & outdoors

Winter sports

Nightlife

Shopping

Things to Do on the Northern South Island

The three regions of Tasman, Nelson, and Marlborough at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island are well known for their delicious wines. Don’t miss out on a tasty glass of Sauvignon Blanc to wash down your fresh seafood during your visit! 

Marlborough Sounds

The best way to get from the North to the South Island is via ferry from Wellington to Picton, which will take you through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. These consist of a range of forested islands, with sheltered bays, sandy beaches, and untouched bushland. It’s also a great destination to spot dolphins, seals, blue penguins, and a whole host of birds. 

Marlborough Sounds, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania
Marlborough Sounds
 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to kayak, fish, cycle, and hike for example, along the challenging, 70-kilometer-long Queen Charlotte Track.

A Sunny Escape

The Nelson-Tasman region is known for being New Zealand’s sunniest region, making it popular among tourists and locals alike. Maybe it’s the warmth and sunshine that attract a huge range of artists to the area. The city of Nelson is particularly famous for its varied art scenes, with galleries featuring traditional, contemporary, and Maori pieces. 

Queens Gardens, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania
Queens Gardens in Nelson 
 

To soak up some sun, head to one of Nelson’s many parks and gardens, such as the Victorian-style Queens Gardens, or Boulder Bank, a 13-kilometer-long rocky stretch from Mackay Bluff to the Nelson Harbor. Alternatively, check out the beach suburb of Tahunanui, which lies about five kilometers outside of the city center, or visit the iconic Center of New Zealand, located on top of a city-center hill. 

New Zealand’s Southern Alps 

Just 120 kilometers south of Nelson, you’ll find the Nelson Lakes National Park, which marks the starting point of New Zealand’s famous Southern Alps. Stay in the picturesque village of Saint Arnaud, from where you can easily explore lush forests, glacial lakes, and steep peaks, or go fishing at either Lake Rotoroa, or Lake Rotoiti. The Rainbow Ski Field, which reaches heights of up to 1,760 meters, is open to skiers and snowboarders from July to October.

Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania
Lake Rotoiti

Golden Bay

Golden Bay, in the North of the island, is home to a whole host of natural wonders. Visit the Te Anaroa Caves, close to Collingwood, for an amazing underground collection of fossils and glowworms. Alternatively, head to Te Waikoropupu, close to Takaka, which has the clearest spring water in the world, and is a sacred place for the local Maoris.

Split Apple, Abel Tasman National Park, Gold Coast, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania
Split Apple Rock, Abel Tasman National Park 
 

Golden Bay is a great starting point for trips into the Kahurangi National Park and Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand’s smallest national park. One of the best ways to explore the Abel Tasman National Park is via a kayak tour. Try to book a tour which takes you to Split Apple Rock, a unique rock formation between Kaiteriteri and Marahau. 

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Two of the Nine Great Walks

Alternatively, put on your hiking boots and head along the world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track, which will take you between three and five days to complete. The track is one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks, meaning it scores highly for accessibility and scenery.

Kahurangi National Park, on the other hand, is New Zealand’s second-largest nature reserve. In addition to the huge variety of plant and animal species in the 4,520 square kilometer park, Kahurangi is also home to an extensive marble cave system and the starting point of another of the nine Great Walks, Heaphy Track. The full track takes between four and six days to complete, and will lead you along the coast and river valleys, and through subtropical rainforests. 

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Reviews

Chris

79 days ago
19-25 years
United Kingdom

Abel Tasman Park

Abel Tasman National Park was my favorite in New Zealand! I went hiking in the park and booked a kayak tour to Split Apple. You should be a nature and outdoor lover when coming here!

Sightseeing

Beaches & water

Nature & outdoors

Winter sports

Nightlife

Shopping


NextStop24 Admin

204 days ago
19-25 years
Germany

First Review by Admin

Great beaches and lots of outdoor activities from mountains to lakes

Sightseeing

Beaches & water

Nature & outdoors

Winter sports

Nightlife

Shopping