A Photo Tour – New Zealand South Island

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Photo Tour of New Zealand South Island

While the debate can be heated, there’s no question in our minds, New Zealand’s South Island is not only the more beautiful of the two islands of New Zealand; it’s also one the most stunningly beautiful places on earth.

From the inviting snowcapped mountain ranges in the West, to the astonishingly clear night skies of Lake Taupo, to the adorable penguins coming ashore along the East coast, to the magnificent mirrored images reflecting off countless pristine glacier lakes, to the seemingly endless cascading waterfalls in Fiordland, the South Island is simply breathtaking.

Please enjoy this photo tour of New Zealand’s sensational South Island.

Deep in the forests of Abel Tasman National Park

Hiking in Abel Tasman National Park

Mountain sheep found at highest parts of the hills just before the hippie town of Takaka

Mountain sheep in New Zealand

Up close and personal with some baby fur seals north of Kaikoura

Close up of fur seal in Te Anau

The remarkable Eastern coast line

The bay of Kaikoura

Massive sperm whale about to return to thee ocean depths after breaching just off the coast of Kaikoura

Sperm whale in the waters of Kaikoura

The Hector’s Dolphin, the smallest dolphin in the world, found just off the East coast near Kaikoura

Hector's dolphin

Steeped in Maori legend, the Moreaki Spherical Boulders

Moreaki Boulders

Baldwin Street in Dunedin, the steepest residential street in the world

Baldwin Street in Dunedin

Stunning Lake Tekapo, famous not only for its physical beauty but for showcasing celestial spectacles in New Zealand’s darkest night skies

Lake Tekapo

A rare Yellow-eyed Penguin coming ashore for the evening just outside of Oamaru

Yellow eyed penguin in Oamaru

Sandfly Beach on the Otago Peninsula

Sandfly Beach Otago Peninsula

A Sea Lion rests on a quiet beach on the Otago Peninsula

Seal lion New Zealand

Tunnel Beach, similar to Cathedral Cove on the North Island except far less touristy and a more intense perspective as the waves thrash the tunnel corridor during mid to high tide. 

Tunnel Beach New Zealand
Sheep farmers hard at work in the heartland of the South Island

Sheep farmers New Zealand

Outstanding views of the mountain ranges reflecting off pristine Lake Clearwater

Lake Clearwater New Zealand

Mount Sunday, used as one of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings shooting locations. See our post on LOTR shooting locations here.

Mount Sunday New Zealand

The astounding highway to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown

Highway outside of Queenstown

The wonderfully quirky bra fence outside of Cardona

Bra fence New Zealand

Weka Bird, found along the West coast,  is one of the many flightless birds of New Zealand

Weka bird New Zealand

The iconic Punakaiki or Pancake Rocks of the West coast

Pancake rocks New Zealand

Jaw dropping Arthur’s Pass, connecting Christchurch to the West coast

Arthur's Pass New Zealand

The Dalai Lama called Castle Hill one of the spiritual centres of the universe, we concur

Castle Hill New Zealand

The town of Bluff is considered to be the southern most point of New Zealand’s South Island

World sign at Bluff, New Zealand

Before travelling to New Zealand we were told by a local that you can’t say you’ve really been to New Zealand unless you’ve been to the South Island. After spending three weeks crisscrossing this stunning corner of the world, truly awestruck by the beauty at every turn, we couldn’t agree more.

The South Island for me is one of the top places I have ever travelled to. It’s natural beauty, unique wildlife and feeling of total and absolute freedom make this one of my top recommendations for other travellers contemplating their next trip.

Make sure if you do travel to New Zealand, you don’t miss out on the South Island, in fact, plan on spending more of your time there than in the North. You’ll thank me for it!

We hope you enjoyed the photo tour and that it has sparked some wanderlust inside of you!

Make sure to check out our posts on The Best Free Things To Do on the North and South Islands!


Ross & Alyse



Lover of travel, photography, nature, movies, and nachos. If you love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings we'll probably become best friends.

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