Where to go south

In a year of travel plan disruptions, shake tradition and choose a new place to explore, a place closer to home. In the South Island, options abound. Here are Metropol’s picks of where to go, when going south.



Tucked down the southeast corner of the South Island, The Catlins region is abundant with wildlife, forests, sandy beaches, waterfalls and farmland. Venture along hundreds of kilometres of rugged coastline to enjoy quiet bays and beaches, or get out in nature and explore hidden gems like Nugget Point, Purakaunui Falls, Cathedral Caves and McLean Falls.

On the otherside of the lower South Island, Fiordland could be another world. The region’s tagline, “Beyond Belief” is a fitting description for the jaw dropping natural environment which is sure to dazzle even the most seasoned traveller. Take a multi-day tramp on one of the great walks, or opt for a relaxing cruise through the Milford or Doubtful Sounds

Everyone’s heard of Queenstown and Wanaka, which are wonderful locations offering the best of adventure, luxury and hospitality. Soak up the summer alpine atmosphere from an award-winning winery, explore the exquisite views with a hilltop hike or gondola ride, or even a scenic flight. Or, venture even further south with a trip to Te Anau or Manapouri.

Not just a thoroughfare on the way south, Lake Tekapo is a destination all on its own. With accommodation, hospitality and entertainment all covered – it’s as easy as packing the car and just turning up. From bike hire and boat rides, to star gazing, hot pools and simply enjoying the view – Tekapo can be a one-stop-shop. Or, the perfect base from which to a take day trip to Mt Cook, Ohau and Twizel, where yet more spectacular sights await.

With walks for every fitness and ability level snaking through the incredible Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, this is a tramping enthusiasts paradise. From hour-long walks, to day trip and overnighters – visit the local visitors centre and speak with the friendly and informative Department of Conservation staff to plan your escapade. Or, relax in luxury at the Hermitage or explore the mountaineering museum.


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