South Island – New Zealand

South Island – New Zealand.

*This blog post is going to be set out differently than the others blog posts as I’m going to be writing about more than one city in the South Island.*

Location: The South Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand. New Zealand is located is the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The South Island has a population of around 1.038 million.
Below is the South Island map.

I live in the South Island of New Zealand and I highly recommend you visit these places.

Transportation around the South Island:

Flights – There are many domestic flights from city to city in the North Island every day.
Examples of airlines – Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Originair.

Rent a car – You can drive around the North Island from city to city.
Examples of car rental businesses – Jucy, Avis, Hertz, Apex, Thrifty, Budget.

Taxi – You can easily find a taxi in the main cities in the South Island.
Examples – Blue Bubble Taxis, Gold Band Taxis (Christchurch) .

Shuttles – Good for getting from airports to motels.
Example – Super Shuttle (cheaper option than Taxis).

Buses – Lots of buses that transport people around the North Island.
Examples: Intercity, Nakedbus and general local buses that take you around the main cities.

Nelson, New Zealand.
Located near the top of the South Island. (Shown on the map above) You can fly in and out of Nelson from various different places around New Zealand.
Sunset in Nelson, New Zealand

Where to stay:

Top 10 Holiday Park – Great staff, they were really helpful, the rooms were huge but they were really clean too which was good! The Holiday Parks website is below.

Greenwood Park Motels – Great service, the rooms have been recently renovated so they are lovely and new!

Where to eat:

Oxford Cafe – This is a great cafe, lovely food and service! Would definitely recommend going here.

Columbus Cafe – Another great cafe to go to, there is one right in the city of Nelson and one in the centre of Richmond.

Cod & Lobster – Great restaurant, the food is great and so are the cocktails. This is located right in the centre of Nelson.

Activities and Attractions:

Shopping – There is a mall located in Richmond which is around 15minutes out of Nelson and there are shops located in the city centre of Nelson.

Abel Tasman National Park – Take a 1 hour drive to the Abel Tasman and spend the day or a couple of days doing activities e.g. kayaking, swimming, take a scenic cruise or just relaxing on the beach.
For more information about the cruises, click the link below.

Kaiteriteri –  Is a small town in the Tasman Region and it is known for its scenic beaches, it is close to a place called ‘Marahau’ the main gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park, there is also another small town called Motueka.
To drive from Nelson to Kaiteriteri it takes around 40-50minutes.
Kaiteriteri is a huge tourist attraction and can get very busy during summer, it has a restaurant, a convenience store, a camp ground and various activities for people to do e.g. Wilsons Abel Tasman Cruise, Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Swimming etc.
For more information on the Wilsons Cruise, the link is below.
Photo of Kaiteriteri Beach:

World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum – This is located 10minutes from Nelson and it’s on the way to Nelson Airport. If you’re arriving by plane you can just follow the signs to the Museum. This Museum has several galleries which includes award-winning garments and classic cars.

Accessibility of Nelson:
It’s really good! You can get into most restaurants/cafes. Nelson is a great place to visit if you are a visitor to New Zealand.

Christchurch, New Zealand.
Located on the East Coast of the South Island. (Christchurch is shown on the map above). You can get to Christchurch by flying or you can drive down. Christchurch also has a international and domestic airport.

Places to stay:

The top 10 Holiday Park Christchurch – This is a great place to stay if you are a family or if you are just wanting a place to stay. They have good sized rooms and they were nice and clean! The park facilities include a heated indoor pool, playground, tv room and a games room.

Riccarton Mall Motel – Great convenient place to stay, not far from the Christchurch airport and it is across the road from Riccarton Mall. The rooms are small but it’s a good place to stay.

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Where to eat in Christchurch:

Lonestar – Nice restaurant to go too, this is a great place to go if you’re a family. There is a lonestar right in central Christchurch.

Ruedi’s Cafe – This is a great local cafe, with great food and service!

Columbus Cafe – Located in the Riccarton Mall, again it’s a nice place to get breakfast or lunch.


International Antarctic Centre – Located next to the International Airport. Great attraction to go too, they have a ‘Snow and Ice Experience’, Penguin Encounter, 4D Extreme Theatre, The Antarctic Gallery and more! For more information on ticket prices, click the link below.

Orana Wildlife Park – This is the only open hand wildlife park in New Zealand, you can hand feed giraffes, see gorillas, kiwi’s (the bird), lions and more! The Zoo is located within 15minutes drive from the Christchurch International Airport.
For ticket prices and more information, click below.

Shopping – There are a couple of shopping malls around Christchurch.
Example: Westfield Riccarton, Northlands and The Palms.

Hanmer Springs – Take around a 2 hour drive either by car or Intercity Bus to a region called ‘Hanmer Springs’.  A place surrounded by mountains and forests. You can stay here for a couple of days. You can do a variety of activities such as the Hanmer Springs thermal pools, or shop around the local shops, rent 4 seater bikes, go mountain biking, bungy jumping, or visit the animal park and not to forget the Hanmer Springs ‘a-maze-n-golf’ (adventure maze and golf).
Hanmer Springs is a nice place to go and relax.


Accessibility of Christchurch / Hanmer Springs:
Both Christchurch and Hanmer Springs are wheelchair accessible.

Queenstown, New Zealand.
Located next to the shores of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps. Queenstown has an international airport so it tends to be quite touristy as there is a lot to do here. You can fly domestically or you can drive to Queenstown. It’s neighbouring towns include Wanaka, Arrowtown, Alexandra and Cromwell etc.
I must say that Queenstown can get expensive!
Looking over Queenstown at Sunset.

Places to stay in Queenstown :
Personally I haven’t stayed in any accommodation in Queenstown as I stayed with a friend but below are some recommendations.

Bella Vista Motel Queenstown – More information click the link below.

Amity Lodge Queenstown –

Where to eat:

Ferg Burger – Ferg Burger can put some people off due to the long line of people but these burgers are so good! If you are in Queenstown, I recommend going here at least once, the wait is worth it and the burgers are massive!

The Exchange – Great cafe to go too, they have really good food here and awesome service.

Minus 5 degree Ice Bar – This place is place is so cool, everything is made out of ice, including the cocktail that you order and the furniture that you sit on. You have to pay an entry fee and wear an eskimo looking jacket but it is a lot of fun!

Queenstown Cookie Muncher Cookie Bar – This place is everything cookie!
From Ice-Cream Cookie Sandwiches to hot chocolates and shakes!
Definitely go here! Below is the menu! 🙂


There are so many activities that you can do in Queenstown! So I will link the website below of everything you can do there.

Other activities could include driving to any of the neighbouring towns e.g. Wanaka and or Arrowtown for the day.

Wanaka Activities:

Puzzling World which has cool illusions and bizarre buildings. This is a great activity for families.

Shopping – Look around the local shops.

Hire Aqua Bikes – Something fun to do if you are with friends or your family.

Hire Kayaks –

Arrowtown Activities:

Gold Panning –

Golf – There are various places that you can go and play golf.

Winter Sports – You can go skiing in the winter time at either Coronet Peak or Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Accessibility of Queenstown:
I found that Queenstown was quite good when it came to wheelchairs. The shops and restaurants were all wheelchair accessible.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the South Island of New Zealand. Definitely make sure that you travel to New Zealand in the future! ~

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*Have you seen our North Island – New Zealand Blog?*

11 Replies to “South Island – New Zealand”

  1. I found your blog through google and I must say, this is probably one of the best well prepared articles I have come across in a long time. I have bookmarked your site for more posts.

  2. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many helpful stuff in your website especially its discussion. From the tons of responses on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the excellent work

  3. Wow..this is quite some guide. And so many useful Links. One of my best friends is from New Zealand and we are currently planning a trip… am soooo excited!

    I’d definitely want to go gold panning! *lol*

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