Top things to do in South Island

Top Choice National Park in Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass National Park

Straddling the Southern Alps, known to Māori as Ka Tiritiri o Te Moana (Steep Peak of Glistening White), this vast alpine wilderness became the South Island's first national park in 1929. Of its 1144 sq km, two-thir…
Top Choice Bird Sanctuary in Oamaru

Blue Penguin Colony

Every evening the tykes from the Oamaru little penguin colony surf in and wade ashore, heading to their nests in an old stone quarry near the waterfront. Stands are set up on either side of the waddle route. General…
Top Choice Museum in Nelson

World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum

Nelson is the birthplace of NZ's most inspiring fashion show, the annual World of WearableArt Awards. You can see 70 or so current and past entries in this museum's several sensory-overloading galleries, including a…
Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Stewart Island (Rakiura)

Ulva Island

A tiny paradise covering only 269 hectares, Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara is a great place to see lots of native NZ birds. Established as a bird sanctuary in 1922, it remains one of Stewart Island/Rakiura’s wildest corn…
Top Choice Area in Oamaru

Victorian Precinct

Consisting of only a couple of blocks centred on Harbour and Tyne Sts, this atmospheric enclave has some of NZ’s best-preserved Victorian commercial buildings. Descend on a dark and foggy night and it's downright Di…
Top Choice Beach in Collingwood & Around

Farewell Spit

Bleak, exposed and positively sci-fi, Farewell Spit is a wetland of international importance and renowned bird sanctuary – the summer home of thousands of migratory waders, notably the godwit, Caspian tern and Austr…
Top Choice Museum in Invercargill

Bill Richardson Transport World

A kingdom of shiny chrome lies beyond the doors of Transport World, touted as the largest private automotive museum on the planet. Across 15,000 sq metres of warehouse space you'll find classic cars, hulking tractor…
Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Otago Peninsula

Nature’s Wonders Naturally

What makes the improbably beautiful beaches of this coastal sheep farm different from other important wildlife habitats is that (apart from pest eradication and the like) they're left completely alone. Many of the m…
Top Choice Gorge in Hokitika

Hokitika Gorge

Water this turquoise doesn't come easy. Half a million years of glacial movement sculpted Hokitika's porcelain-white ravine; the rock 'flour' ground over millennia intensifies the water's dazzling hue. A lookout at …
Top Choice Gardens in Christchurch

Botanic Gardens

Strolling through these 30 blissful riverside hectares of arboreal and floral splendour is a consummate Christchurch experience. Gorgeous at any time of the year, the gardens are particularly impressive in spring wh…