The South Island of New Zealand may have one third the population of the North Island and fewer big cities, restaurants, and public transportation, but what it lacks in people and scads of modern infrastructure it more than makes up for in natural beauty. The South Island, simply put, is spectacular. There’s not a corner you'll drive around without being awed by some new natural thrill. There are waterfalls, glowworms, mountains, coastal drives and jagged sounds that will blow your mind. And the only way to see it all (in our opinion, anyway) is to pack the car and hit the road, which is exactly what we did.
We started on the North Island, which you can read about HERE if you haven’t already, but allow us to pick up where we left off.
Above: New Zealand's South Island as seen from the Ferry on Cook Straight.
|Tinline Beach on the Coast Track in Abel Tasman National Park.|
|Don't forget your head lamp for Fox River Caves. Wellies wouldn't hurt, either.|
|The drive on the west coast of the South Island offers stunning scenery.|
|Franz Josef Glacier|
|Taking a moment to appreciate nature on the way to Franz Josef Glacier.|
|Not only can you camp for free at Gillespie Beach, but you'll be treated to vibrant sunsets, too.|
|New Zealand's South Island is the perfect place to stargaze.|
|Brilliant blue lakes and jagged peaks welcome you back to civilization as you head to Queenstown.|
|The Kawarau river outside of Queenstown. Bungy jump from the bridge or just enjoy the scenery.|
|Apparently Milford Sound is somewhere behind all that fog.|
|About the clearest view we had of the Milford Sound area.|
|The Mount Cook Mountain Range from the west.|
|Mount Cook may have been in hiding, but the view from across Lake Pukaki was fabulous.|
|Nothing like a bit of ukulele music while watching the sunset over Lake Pukaki.|
|The Christchurch Art Gallery is sweet as on the outside and in.|
|The city is still rebuilding after the 2011 earthquake.|
|The ReStart Mall is a great place to grab a quick bite, recaffeinate, or do a bit of shopping. It's a shipping container mall set up after the 2011 earthquake.|
|Treat yourself to some outdoor adventure with a day of kayaking on the Marlborough Sounds.|
|Mountains and wildlife abound on the Marlborough Sounds.|