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South Island in New Zealand has the purest natural landscapes you've ever experienced.

The following locations must not be based on popularity with tourists - although many places are popular tourist destinations - instead, the potential, the emotional impact you may encounter when seeing the landscape.

Starting at the top of New Zealand's South Island and going in a counter-clockwise direction, here are my top 5 places not to miss on New Zealand's South Island ...

#1 Explore Marlborough Sounds 

If you take a ferry from Wellington to Picton, you will experience part of the grandeur of Marlborough Sound.

However, you can also walk to see one or more sounds.

Marlborough's sound is all about bush-covered mountains that jump into the sea, where sounds that will fascinate you surround water.


Marlborough Sound is a collection of ancient valley valleys that you need to include in the South Island! After all, it is home to a spectacularly rugged coastline, rich marine reserves, pristine islands and historical monuments - needless to say; there is a range of activities you can do here. ! Some of the notable people are performing Queen Charlotte Racetrack, driving down the French Pass, swimming with dolphins or sailing around Marlborough Sounds. 

#2 Abel Tasman National Park and Golden Bay

When you get off the ferry in Picton, Motueka is a 2-hour drive from the west. Motueka is a pleasant town close to Abel Tasman National Park because it offers all the essential amenities and more - including fast food restaurants. Golden Bay is a little further away, on Takaka Hill.

When I think of Abel Tasman, and Golden Bay, beaches, beaches and many other beaches with sand and beautiful golden water appear in mind, combined with shrubs to refresh the memory and soul, especially if you walk along the coast.

Abel Tasman National Park and Golden Bay

The sheltered bays of Abel Tasman National Park are perfect for boating or kayaking, with plenty of opportunities to see seals and dolphins regularly playing in these coastal waters. If you like to explore by road, the park is a great place to walk. Walk along the Tasman Abel coastline and follow the shoreline through native bushes, over limestone cliffs, and along golden beaches. 

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#3 Experience natural spas

North Island may be full of geothermal spas, but South Island also has its specialties, namely

Welcome Flat Hot Pools: Take a little walk through the Copland Track to get to this place, but you will be rewarded with beautiful alpine scenery along the trail - not to mention, you will eventually have lakes Swim to enjoy that temperature range and can accommodate up to 10 to 12 people.

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools: This is a thermal pool complex, an easy 90-minute drive from Christchurch! A great place to enjoy, there are several types of pools for you to enjoy here like sulfur pools, water jets, rock pools, and more!

Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools: After a day of walking, treat yourself to a relaxing dip in the Franz Josef Glacier heated Pool. This is open until 9:00 pm, and you can choose to take a plunge in one of the three main outdoor swimming pools in the range of 36 to 41 degrees Celsius (if you want privacy, there is also a private swimming pool available).

Onsen Hot Pools: If you want something luxurious and luxurious, then the hot pool in Queenstown will be your best choice. With a high cliff position overlooking the Shotover River gorge, you are always assured of complete relaxation with vision!

Onsen Hot Pools

#4 Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook 

The first time I saw Lake Pukaki “live” I screamed in my rental car. I had seen it many times in photographs, but to see the real thing was incredible. Combine this with a view of Mount Cook on a perfectly cloudless day, and you’ve got yourself a look that everyone should see before they die.

Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook

After you stop at the Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook view on State Highway 8, hook onto State Highway 80 and drive toward Mount Cook National Park. If the weather is beautiful, you should be able to enjoy views of Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook along this scenic route.

There are also several little walks you can do in Mount Cook National Park to see more of Mount Cook and other mountains in the area.

#5 Milford Sound

Milford Sound is known for its peaks jutting out of the sea like towers combined with giant waterfalls. Therefore, I strongly recommend making a tour with Milford Sound boat.

Driving from Queenstown to Milford Sound may take up to 4 hours, but you can reduce that time by making, for example, the Fly-Cruise-Fly tour starting in Queenstown.

Milford Sound

This means you will first take a scenic flight to Milford Sound, take the Milford Sound journey and then fly back to Queenstown. Such a tour not only allows you to see the mountains around Queenstown from above but also allows you to enjoy the peaks and waterfalls of Milford Sound on a boat.



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