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U.S.FTC GUIDELINES PLEASE NOTE: we act as an affiliate for several companies that feature on our website. In some cases we may earn a commission from referrals to those companies. For further information please refer to our Privacy and Disclaimer policies which can be found in the "US" tab.

Here is a selection of pictures of New Zealand, in particular the stunning South Island. We hope that these give you a "snapshot" of what you can expect to see on this spectacular island.

Many of our favorite pictures of New Zealand are those from the South Island (you can view pictures of the beautiful North Island by clicking here).

The South Island offers amazing beauty and contrast. From beautiful surf beaches, to snow capped peaks, New Zealand's South Island offers visitors a stunning range of vistas.

The South Island offers photo opportunities at every turn, and it is impossible to describe just how beautiful it is. The Southern Alps provide an amazing backdrop, and the rugged West Coast has a charm all its own. The Nelson region feels almost tropical in comparison, yet snow capped peaks are visible in winter.

Kaikoura will wow you with its beauty, particularly in winter, when the snow capped mountains seem to disappear into the ocean.

Queenstown and Wanaka are both lakeside and are bordered by towering peaks.

And you will not believe the colour of Lake Tekapo.

And of course, Milford Sound is perhaps the most stunning of all South Island locations. Vertical cliffs that fall into deep, dark water, numerous waterfalls, and an often misty facade, make Milford Sound a photographers dream.

You will marvel at the photo opportunities on New Zealand's South Island.

Tip - hover over the image for a description. Some contain clickable links for more information on a place or activity.


Use these links to view images for your chosen region

* Queenstown/Wanaka

* Fiordland

* Christchurch/Canterbury/Hanmer Springs/Kaikoura

* Dunedin/Coastal Otago

* The wild West Coast

* Nelson and the Abel Tasman

* Mt Cook/Lake Tekapo/Lake Pukaki

Queenstown, Wanaka and the Southern Lakes

Queenstown is known as the "Adventure Capital of New Zealand" and is a must see on any visit to the South Island.

Stunning scenery and a never ending variety of things to see and do make this a very special place.

Nearby, the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka welcomes you with amazing vistas and a vibrant buzz.

Looking down on Queenstown from the Skyline Gondola complex at Bob's Peak
Passengers leaving the TSS Earnslaw at Walter Peak Station on Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown
Sculpture on the shores of Lake Wakatipu Queenstown
The Skyline Restaurant Queenstown - image courtesy Skyline Restaurant
2016 Queenstown American Express Winter Festival Opening Ceremony - fireworks over Lake Wakatipu
Queenstown Mall on a winter morning
Queenstown Golf Club
Queenstown Kawarau Bridge Bungy
The Kawarau Jet near Queenstown
The Queenstown Winter Festival Jucy Undy 500
Looking across Lake Wanaka from the shore near the town center
Looking over Wanaka from The Moorings apartments
Puzzling World at Wanaka - pic courtesy Puzzling World
The historic Cardrona Hotel near Wanaka
Lake Hawea near Wanaka
Hitting the slopes at Cardrona - pic courtesy WanakaNZ

Fiordland, a World Heritage area

The World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park sits on the South West coast of New Zealand's South Island and is characterized by a series of stunning fiords, and some of the best walks in the world.

Stunning Milford Sound - image courtesy Tourism Holdings
The Milford Sound Nature cruise from Te Anau is highly recommended
Mystical Milford Sound
Relaxing on the Milford Track guided day walk from Te Anau
Experience beautiful Doubtful Sound on an overnight cruise
The Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory at Milford Sound - pic courtesy Milford Discovery Centre
Kayaking on Milford Sound - click to learn more

The Wild West Coast

The Wild West Coast is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Huge glaciers, wild deserted beaches, ancient rain forests, and friendly locals make this a wonderful place to visit.

Guided Glacier walk on Franz Josef
Franz Josef Neve Discoverer Heli flight and landing
Fox Glacier - pic courtesy
Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki
Bridge across Hokitika Gorge - pic courtesy
Sculpture in the yard at Wave Watchers holiday cottage Punakaiki
Ice cave on Franz Josef - image courtesy
Nikau Palms near Punakaiki on the West Coast
Te Waonui Rainforest Retreat Franz Josef village
The Oparara Arch - pic courtesy

Nelson and the Abel Tasman

Located at the top of the South Island, the Nelson region is perhaps best known for the Abel Tasman National Park.

The region features stunning bays and beaches, wineries, a strong arts and crafts culture, and many glorious walks.

Sailing in the Abel Tasman - pic courtesy Awaroa Lodge - click to learn about the lodge
Low tide at Marahau near the Abel Tasman National Park
Kayak in the Abel Tasman on the full day Astrolabe eco tour - click for more information
Stunning views from the Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Luxury stay at The Waters, Kina Peninsula - click for more information
The Aurora Australis viewed from Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park - pic by Mikey MacKinven
Split Apple Rock in the Abel Tasman
Morning calm on the Mapua Estuary near Nelson
A golden beach in the Abel Tasman

Christchurch/Canterbury/Hanmer Springs/Kaikoura

Christchurch sits in the Canterbury Plains, with the towering Southern Alps as a backdrop.

To the north, the relaxing thermal pools of Hanmer Springs are the perfect way to end your day. And nearby, the marine wonders of Kaikoura will take your breath away.

Kaikoura - pic courtesy
Fur seal on boardwalk at Kaikoura
Looking across the bay to Kaikoura
Seal pups playing under waterfall at Ohau Point near Kaikoura
A whale dives off Kaikoura
Whale mural on building at Kaikoura
Relaxing in the thermal pools at Hanmer Springs - pic courtesy
The Skyline Gondola near Christchurch - click for more information
Punting on the Avon River Christchurch - click for more information
LOTR Journey to Edoras - click for more
Take the iconic Tranz Alpine train on a small group tour from Christchurch - click for more details
The Tranzalpine train is acknowledged as one of the World's great train journeys, and takes you from Greymouth on the West Coast to Christchurch on the East coast.

Mt Cook/Lake Tekapo/Lake Pukaki

Just a few hours south of Christchurch, the twin lakes of Tekapo and Pukaki draw your view to the Southern Alps, and the towering Mt Cook.

Lake Tekapo and the Church of The Good Shepherd
The Church of The Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo
Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook - image courtesy Kirra Tours
Lake Pukaki and the Southern Alps
An iceberg near Mt Cook - image courtesy Glacier Explorers
Enjoying a meal at The Hermitage Mt Cook

Dunedin and Coastal Otago

Dunedin and the surrounding region are a nature lover's paradise, with a range of eco tours available to showcase the region's wildlife.

Dunedin is a bustling city, home to a large university, and with a strong Scottish heritage.

The unusual Moeraki Boulders on the South Island's east coast - pic courtesy Miles Holden
Yellow Eyed Penguin - pic courtesy The Penguin Place
Walking up the world's tallest street, Baldwin St. Come and try it for yourself on the half day city tour (click for details)
Take a ride on the famous Taieri Gorge Railway - click for more information

We hope you've enjoyed our South Island pictures of New Zealand. To see some North Island pictures click here.

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