From picturesque landscapes to expansive wineries, from spectacular wildlife to endless coastline, South Island, the larger of the two main islands of New Zealand, is blessed with the Mother Nature’s very best! And it is not just the adventurers or honeymooners who are enamoured by this fabulous parade of natural wonders, families too are visiting South Island in large numbers. Read on and find out what all attractions and activities can be enjoyed by families at some of the South Island’s key holiday destinations.
Marlborough, located at the top of the South Island, impresses with its vineyards, the largest in New Zealand. The perennial sunshine and the lush coastal bushes by the bay urge the visitors to go for long family treks alongside the Marlborough Sounds. Cycling along the Queen Charlotte Track as well as gorging on the sumptuous seafood and enjoying wines make for the best Marlborough experiences. Get aboard a scenic cruise to spot dolphins, seals and other seabirds with your family.
Kaikoura holds a place of special interest in the hearts of admirers of marine life. Local tours for watching whales, dolphins and sea birds are organized every day. The peninsula is also a great place for scuba diving, reef diving and kayaking adventures. The place is renowned for its crayfish which can be abundantly found in local restaurants.
The gateway to the South Island, Christchurch is a vibrant city where traditional meets contemporary in an endearing fashion. While Punting on the Avon River and strolling through excellently-maintained Botanical Gardens exuberates an old world charm; shopping at Re:START Container Mall and eating at one of the many newly-opened restaurants don’t let you miss the city life. Leaving your Christchurch experience a notch more entertaining will be the International Antarctic Centre, where you will know a lot about the icy continent of Antarctica. There are some really ‘cool’ rides and experiences simulated in 3D for the entertainment of the visitors.
Lake Tekapo is a small town that borrows its name from the lake around which it is situated. It is a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, which means it is one of the best spots in the world for stargazing. You can hike to the summit of Mount John with your family and stop at the famous Astro Café for snacks. The view of the Mackenzie Basin from here is considered one of the most spectacular in the world. Additionally, several day and night stargazing tours are organized by local operators. Mt. John Observatory in Lake Tekapo hosts New Zealand’s largest telescope and offers 360 degree panoramic views of nearby lakes and mountains to the visitors.
Queenstown is one of those few places on the face of earth which are as vibrant as they are beautiful. ‘The Global Adventure Capital’, the town is a Mecca for adventure junkies. It is one of the best places around the world for activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, parasailing, paragliding, hand gliding among other sports. Besides, an array of cosmopolitan restaurants, vineyards, bars and international-standard golf courses give a lot more to the tourists to enjoy in this small town. Lake Wakatipu is the jewel in the crown of Queenstown and a major attraction for tourists.