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The New Zealand of your imagination, South Island ratchets up the scenic drama rapidly. It’s a mostly mountainous land where you can go from deep fiords to glaciers sandwiched between rainforest to cerulean lakes. The nexus of New Zealand’s adventure activities, our specialists think there’s much more to the South Island than adrenaline-seeking. Spending time here is also about experiencing its wilderness: winding mountain roads and yawning, unpeopled landscapes are par for the course when journeying around the South Island. Here, you can hike on trails that take you into areas of the country that have scarcely been touched by the hand of man.

We can arrange for you to experience the South Island’s scenery in numerous ways, including scenic flights over the glaciers and cruises in Doubtful Sound. And, although the South Island’s scenery gets top billing, there are other experiences in store here. At Kaikoura, you can observe whales, sea lions and dolphins, while farther south, at Dunedin and Stewart Island, albatrosses, penguins (and, with luck, the elusive kiwi) vie for your attention. There’s the mining history and winelands of the Central Otago region, while at Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo, you can experience first-rate stargazing.

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Audley Travel specialist Haley

Start planning your tailor-made trip to South Island by contacting one of our New Zealand specialists

Places to visit in South Island

Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting South Island, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travelers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.

Suggested itineraries featuring South Island

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in South Island, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of South Island

Places & hotels on the map

    Places in and around South Island

    Accommodation choices for South Island

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit South Island. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Mountain View Room, Wilderness Lodge, Arthur`s Pass

      Wilderness Lodge

      First Class

      Set in the beautiful Arthur's Pass, Wilderness Lodge is an eco-friendly property offering spacious and comfortable accommodation, and the chance to learn about New Zealand's flora and fauna.

    • Arrowtown House, Arrowtown

      Arrowtown House

      First Class

      Arrowtown House B&B has beautifully furnished self-contained suites, complete with all facilities, and is Just a short stroll from the shops, art galleries and cafes of Arrowtown itself.

    • Rainforest Room, Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

      Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge

      First Class

      Perfect for nature lovers, Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge is a charming eco-lodge that offers a wide range of outdoor activities.

    • Bedrooms at Ranginui

      Ranginui B&B

      First Class

      This impeccably decorated B&B is located within walking distance to Tekapo and boasts lake and mountain views from all bedrooms and the guest lounge.

    • Looking into the lounge, Lakestone Lodge, Twizel

      Lakestone Lodge

      First Class

      An eco-lodge with an intimate atmosphere and amiable hosts, Lakestone Lodge offers sweeping views, contemporary rooms, good food and a wide range of activities, as well as a tranquil location.

    • Skyscape Outdoor Bath

      Skyscape

      Medium

      The secluded situation of the property allows you to thoroughly escape the outside world and use the property to relax and recharge. The key features of skyscape are the wood-fired outdoor bath and the glass walls and ceiling that allow you to easily watch the night sky.

    • French Bay House

      French Bay House

      First Class

      French Bay house is a quaint 19th century house set on Rue Jolie, in the heart of Akaroa. Staying here will get a fantastic hosting experience along with superb local knowledge.

    • Westwood Lodge Lounge and Breakfast Nook

      Westwood Lodge

      First Class

      Just a short drive away from the heart of Franz Josef, this charming lodge offers a cozy alpine-style retreat, surrounded by wild scenery and a mountainous backdrop.

    • Glenfern Villas, Franz Josef Glacier

      Glenfern Villas

      Medium

      Located just a couple of miles North of Franz Josef Village, the Glenfern Villas make a comfortable base from which to explore the local area's wonderful mountain scenery.

    • Te Anau Lodge, Te Anau

      Te Anau Lodge

      Medium

      The lodge is a short drive away from the town center and benefits for views out to Lake Te Anau and the Murchison Mountains in the distance.

    • Dunluce Bed and Breakfast, Te Anau

      Dunluce Bed and Breakfast

      First Class

      Dunluce is an intimate and friendly bed and breakfast, ideally located on lakeside land, just outside Te Anau. All of its rooms have en suite facilities and views of the lake.

    • Grounds at High Leys

      High Leys Lodge

      First Class

      With lake and mountain views from the property and its proximity to Fiordland National Park, High Leys is an ideal base for exploring the Te Anau and Fiordland region.

    • Standard Sea View Room at Punakaiki Resort

      Punakaiki Resort

      Medium

      Overlooking the Tasman Sea and rugged west coast, the Punakaiki Resort consists of quality hotel rooms and eco apartment units.

    • Studio, Curio Bay Hotel, Catlins

      Curio Bay Hotel

      Medium

      Curio Bay Hotel has a panoramic beachfront location from where you can step straight into the waves or watch the dolphins from your terrace.

    • Catlins Farmstay B&B, Catlins

      Catlins Farmstay

      Medium

      Located close to Curio Bay, Catlins Farmstay B&B is a small and characterful property, perfectly positioned to explore the beautiful Catlins area.

    • King Room at Wanaka Springs B&B

      Wanaka Springs Lodge

      Medium

      Nestled into private, manicured gardens, Wanaka Springs Lodge has spacious and tastefully decorated rooms, and friendly hosts who will ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

    • Copper Beech Wanaka, Wanaka

      Copper Beech Wanaka

      First Class

      Located near the alpine town of Wanaka, this contemporary and comfortable b&b is named after the tree that adorns its sweeping front lawn.

    • View from Weka Cottage, Mahu Whenua

      Mahu Whenua

      Opulent

      A mountainous luxury property that offers a homey stay and has sweeping mountain views, fine food, and a range of activities.

    • Wanaka Alpine Lodge

      Wanaka Alpine Lodge

      First Class

      A warm welcome, home baking, great views and spacious rooms make this modern B&B just outside Wanaka a comfortable and quiet base from which to explore the region.

    • The Anchor Inn Motel, Kaikoura

      The Anchor Inn Motel

      Medium

      Enjoying a scenic position overlooking the ocean and situated close to all the facilities and activities in Kaikoura, Anchor Inn Motel is a comfortable and convenient base from which to explore the region's epic natural landscapes.

    • Orari Bed and Breakfast, Christchurch

      Orari Bed and Breakfast

      Medium

      The Orari offers comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation, and is ideally located in the heart of the cultural precinct of Christchurch.

    • Bay of Many Coves, Picton & The Marlborough Sounds

      Bay of Many Coves

      First Class

      Nestled into a quiet cove within the picturesque Marlborough Sounds, this is a unique property offering apartment-style accommodation in the heart of New Zealand's finest wine district.

    • Exterior View of Furneaux Lodge

      Furneaux Lodge

      Medium

      Overlooking Endeavour Inlet, Furneaux Lodge enjoys a wonderfully tranquil setting, and is ideal for relaxation and as a base to explore the beauty of the Queen Charlotte Track.

    • Stewart Island Lodge, Stewart Island

      Stewart Island Lodge

      Medium

      Located in Halfmoon Bay, Stewart Island Lodge provides comfortable accommodation with en suite guest rooms and a communal lounge where guests can enjoy a continental breakfast.

    • Lakefront View of Blanket Bay Lodge

      Blanket Bay

      Opulent

      Blanket Bay Lodge is a haven of luxury and tranquility in a sublime setting. Each room, either in the main lodge or one of the two chalets, offers panoramic views of mountains, rivers and the lake.

    • Kinross Cottages in Autumn, Queenstown

      Kinross Cottages

      Medium

      Fine wine, good food and stylish lodgings make Kinross Cottages an enviable place to relax and sample the wines of the central Otago region. Set on a vineyard with sweeping views, it makes a good base for exploring the area.

    • The Rees Apartment Hotel, Queenstown

      The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments

      First Class

      Enjoying a delightful lakefront location on the approach to Queenstown, the Rees is an excellent value hotel with spacious rooms and apartments.

    • Novotel Queenstown Lakeside, Queenstown

      Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

      Medium

      This modern hotel offers a comfortable stay in the heart of Queenstown, next to the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the stunning Southern Alps.

    • Lake Tekapo Lodge, Lake Tekapo

      Lake Tekapo Lodge

      First Class

      Lake Tekapo Lodge is a boutique property with stunning views over Lake Tekapo and the mountains. It is within easy reach of Tekapo township and the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, with a footpath linking the lodge to the main road.

    • Peppers Bluewater Resort, Lake Tekapo

      Peppers Bluewater Resort

      Medium

      Set near the shores of Lake Tekapo and with the Mount Cook National Park on its doorstep, Peppers Bluewater Resort is in a beautiful location.

    • Matuka Lodge, Twizel

      Matuka Lodge

      First Class

      With a superb location in the heart of the Mackenzie High Country, Matuka Lodge enjoys a tranquil, rural setting with spectacular mountain views and beautifully appointed rooms.

    • Shelbourne Villa, Nelson

      Shelbourne Villa

      Medium

      Shelbourne Villa Bed & Breakfast offers high quality accommodation and is only a short walk away from the restaurants and galleries of Nelson City.

    • Shoreline Villa at Te Koi Lodge

      Te Koi - The Lodge at Bronte

      Deluxe

      Surrounded by award winning wineries and only 45 minutes away from Abel Tasman National Park, Te Koi - The Lodge at Bronte offers luxury accommodation in a tranquil, natural setting.

    • Cambria House,Nelson

      Cambria House

      Medium

      Cambria House is an elegant property and the perfect base to explore the local restaurants, art galleries and shops of Nelson city center.

    • Aoraki Court Motel, Mount Cook Village

      Aoraki Court Motel

      Medium

      Situated at the heart of Mount Cook Village, the Aoraki Court Motel offers modern comfort and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains.

    • Villas across the vines, Vintner's Retreat Villas, Blenheim & The Winelands

      Vintner's Retreat Villas

      First Class

      Set amongst fields of vines, Vintner's Retreat Villas offers high quality accommodation within a short distance of everything the wine regions and Marlborough Sounds have to offer.

    • StoneFly Lodge,Abel Tasman National Park

      StoneFly Lodge

      Deluxe

      Stonefly Lodge is situated on 56 hectares of private forest. This luxury lodge is ideally located between three spectacular national parks, Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi, making it an ideal base to explore the region.

    • The Marlborough Lodge , Blenheim

      Marlborough Lodge

      First Class

      Marlborough Lodge is a lovely property with just five, spacious guest suites. Each has been beautifully crafted in native hardwoods and offers incredible views of the surrounding area.

    • The Resurgence, Abel Tasman National Park

      The Resurgence

      First Class

      Located on the edge of the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks, The Resurgence offers comfort and tranquility in a beautiful native bush setting.

    • Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park

      Awaroa Lodge

      First Class

      Awaroa Lodge is a small, comfortable boutique property ideally located to enjoy the peace, scenery, and the sheer beauty of the Abel Tasman National Park.

    • The Peppertree, Blenheim & The Winelands

      The Peppertree

      First Class

      The Peppertree is a beautiful Edwardian villa offering five individually decorated suites, and its own boutique vineyard, which produces the hosts' own chardonnay.

    • Edenhouse, Abel Tasman National Park

      Edenhouse

      Deluxe

      A beautiful house and setting, Edenhouse sits in 48 acres of private grounds between Nelson and the Abel Tasman National Park.

    • Marlborough Vintners Hotel, Blenheim & The Winelands

      Marlborough Vintners Hotel

      Medium

      The Marlborough Vintners Hotel and Vintners Room restaurant are located in the heart of the Blenheim winelands, and provide contemporary, self-contained accommodation and fine dining amongst the vines.

    • Beaufort House, Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

      Beaufort House

      First Class

      Beaufort House provides seclusion and privacy whilst being close to local attractions, making it an ideal place to stay and experience Akaroa.

    • The Bell Tower and its vineyards, Blenheim & The Winelands

      The Bell Tower

      First Class

      The Bell Tower is a boutique lodge situated amid stunning scenery, overlooking Marlborough's vineyards.

    • Misty Peaks, Fox Glacier

      Misty Peaks

      Medium

      Misty Peaks is a boutique bed and breakfast property offering friendly Kiwi hospitality and dramatic views of Mounts Cook, Tasman, and the surrounding countryside.

    • Te Waonui Forest Retreat

      Te Waonui Forest Retreat

      First Class

      Ideally located for visiting the hot springs and glaciers, Te Waonui Forest Retreat is at the cutting edge of sustainable, comfortable accommodation.

    • Holly Homestead, Franz Josef Glacier

      Holly Homestead

      Medium

      Holly Homestead offers quality B&B accommodation with four guest rooms in the stunning Alpine setting of the glacier region.

    • Dock Bay Lodge, Te Anau

      Dock Bay Lodge

      First Class

      All of the suites at Dock Bay Lodge are beautifully furnished with private balconies, offering unobstructed views over Lake Te Anau and the National Park Mountains.

    • Hilltop on High Street, Dunedin

      Hilltop on High Street

      Medium

      This historic home was originally built in 1904, and now provides luxurious and elegant accommodation with superb panoramic views of the city and harbor.

    • Lakefront Lodge, Te Anau

      Lakefront Lodge

      Medium

      Set amongst beautiful gardens, Lakefront Lodge is located close to Lake Te Anau waterfront and just a short stroll from the center of town.

    • Prospect Lodge,Te Anau

      Prospect Lodge

      First Class

      Prospect Lodge Bed and Breakfast is situated in Fiordland, just a few minutes from Te Anau township, and a two-hour drive to Milford Sound.

    • Fletcher Lodge, Dunedin

      Fletcher Lodge

      First Class

      Fletcher Lodge is a historic property offering elegant and luxurious accommodation in five guest rooms, and is just a short walk from Dunedin city center.

    • Hazel House B&B, Dunedin

      Hazel house

      Medium

      This delightful B&B is located about a five-minute drive from Dunedin city center, in a peaceful location, just a short walk or drive from a number of restaurants, cafés and shops. The building is a 1900s villa and has real character and warmth.

    • Blue Ridge Studio Accommodation and B&B, Te Anau

      Blue Ridge Studio Accommodation and B&B

      Medium

      Nestled in pretty gardens, just a short stroll to Te Anau's restaurants, shops and the lake, Blue Ridge Studio Accommodation and B&B is the perfect place to base yourself for a Fiordland experience.

    • Camp Estate, Dunedin

      Camp Estate

      First Class

      Camp Estate offers five guest rooms and is located within Larnach Castle's grounds just 500 meters from the Castle gate.

    • Wanaka Haven, Wanaka

      Wanaka Haven

      First Class

      Wanaka Haven is a modern and luxurious property, located five minutes from Lake Wanaka, and ideally placed for exploration of this stunning area.

    • The Moorings, Wanaka

      The Moorings

      Medium

      The Moorings enjoys spectacular lake and mountain views and is a great base from which to explore this beautiful, unspoilt area.

    • Lakeside Serviced Apartments,Wanaka

      Lakeside Serviced Apartments

      First Class

      Lakeside Service Apartments offers spacious and stylish apartments with uninterrupted vistas across the lake to the snow-capped mountains beyond.

    • Maple Lodge,Wanaka

      Maple Lodge

      First Class

      Maple Lodge is set in its own private grounds about 10 minutes drive out of the town center with views across the maple sugar trees to the Cardrona valley.

    • Edgewater, Wanaka

      Edgewater

      Medium

      Surrounded by the magnificent mountains, and uniquely sited for unrestricted access to Lake Wanaka, Edgewater Resort offers stylish accommodation and facilities to cater to the needs of the guests.

    • View from the veranda, The Lemon Tree, Kaikoura

      Lemon Tree Lodge

      Medium

      Lemon Tree Lodge offers bed and breakfast accommodation for couples and single travelers.

    • The Hamptons, Kaikoura

      The Hamptons

      First Class

      The Hamptons is a boutique B&B set in a peaceful location a few steps from the sweeping beach, but still just a few minutes' walk from the center of Kaikoura.

    • Hapuku Lodge, Kaikoura

      Hapuku Lodge

      Deluxe

      Situated between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Hapuku Lodge enjoys a beautiful location. Its accommodation consists of four guest rooms and stunning tree houses, which will take your breath away.

    • The Classic Villa, Christchurch

      The Classic Villa

      First Class

      Situated on a quiet pedestrian boulevard, the Classic Villa is an Italian-style historic home, which has been tastefully renovated and recreated as one of the finest boutique hotels in Christchurch.

    • 50 Bistro, The George, Christchurch

      The George

      First Class

      Picturesquely located near the lovely Hagley Park, the George is a spacious, boutique hotel, just a step away from all the key attractions.

    • Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch

      Otahuna Lodge

      Deluxe

      The accommodation at Otahuna Lodge combines elegance and opulence as well as boasting all the amenities one would expect of a luxury lodge.

    • Azur Lodge, Queenstown

      Azur Lodge

      Deluxe

      Azur Lodge enjoys a great location just outside Queenstown, truly maximizing its breathtaking lake views. The main lodge building is perched on the hillside, with every room facing out towards the lake and the mountains beyond.

    • Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown

      Matakauri Lodge

      Deluxe

      Overlooking Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri is luxury lodge offering fine dining, superb service and beautiful accommodation in a wonderful setting.

    • Heritage Hotel, Queenstown

      Heritage Hotel

      Medium

      With an elevated position on a forested hillside, the Heritage Hotel overlooks Lake Wakatipu. Its modern and spacious rooms offer a variety stunning views.

    • View from the Tahi Room at Hidden Lodge

      Hidden Lodge

      First Class

      Hidden Lodge is elegant and luxurious and provides a unique experience by combining the sophistication of a small private hotel with the warmth of a large family home.

    • Browns Boutique Hotel, Queenstown

      Brown's Boutique Hotel

      Medium

      Browns Boutique is a friendly and intimate hotel with great views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, and is only a short walk away from the town center and waterfront.

    • Alfresco breakfast, Queenstown House, Queenstown

      Queenstown House

      Medium

      Overlooking Queenstown Bay, with spectacular lake and mountain views, Queenstown House offers charming B&B accommodation with a genuine commitment to providing New Zealand hospitality at its best.