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4th February 2004
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 Holiday | Programmes | 50
New Zealand

South Island

Best time to go: A year round destination, with skiing in winter, and warm summers

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Craig Doyle
The diverse terrain of New Zealand's South Island was your 4th highest choice.

From the idyllic beaches of Abel Tasman National Park, to the snow capped mountains of the Southern Alps, New Zealand�s South Island offers a wealth of beautiful and diverse scenery.

Located some 1500 miles east-southeast of Australia, the island is dominated by the Southern Alps, which run for 300 miles along the island. These are the backbone of the island and contain more than 360 glaciers.

The Fiordlands in the far south west of the island consist of picturesque flooded glacial valleys. Milford Sound is perhaps the most famous of the glacier-carved fiords, and here you will find majestic mountain peaks, sheer granite cliffs, ice blue waters and cascading waterfalls.

It is possible to take a cruise on the Sound, and witness the natural splendour close up, and Milford Sound is also becoming increasingly popular for more adventurous activities such as kayaking and diving.

With all this stunning scenery to soak up, South Island is a perfect destination for visitors who simply want to unwind and relax, enjoying the surroundings.

However, Queenstown is New Zealand�s self-proclaimed extreme sports capital, where you can try bungee jumping, sky diving, whitewater rafting and skiing. So whether you are after breathtaking natural sights or adventure, there is plenty on the South Island to get your adrenalin pumping.

See our report from the North Island.


All prices are approximate, and provided as a guide only. Always double-check prices with individual organisations. Please note that the BBC is neither responsible for, nor endorses the external sites shown on this page.

Price: Flights about £600 return from London to Wellington, via Los Angeles

Approx flight time: About 29 hours to Wellington, via Los Angeles, then ferry or internal flight (can also fly to Christchurch)

  • New Zealand�s highest peak, Mount Cook is 3754 metres high (12,316 feet)
  • Rudyard Kipling described Milford Sound as the eighth wonder of the world
  • Dunedin in South Island claims to have the world�s steepest street, Baldwin Street, with a maximum gradient of 1:1.266
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