The South Island, also named Te Waiponamu, is the largest of Aotearoa New Zealand’s three islands. Home to some of the most spectacular sights NZ has to offer, we have collated five must-see attractions to add to your South Island expedition. Pitch a tent and take in the view, or relax with a glass of wine beside your camper, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
Located in the Southern Alps mountain range – the back bone of country, is the incredible Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. The park boasts New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook and a further 18 peaks to enjoy. The national park is famous for its stunning walking tracks and magnificent glaciers, which cover 40% of the park. The walking tracks surrounding the village range from 10 minutes to 5 hours and offers something for everyone’s abilities. Aoraki Mt Cook is a 2 hour drive away from The Farmyard Holiday Park in Geraldine, perfect for a day trip!
Marlborough Wine Country
Marlborough is New Zealand’s most famous wine region making up 75% of the New Zealand wine industry. The region is world renowned – if you’re interested in wine or just enjoy a vino, this is the place to visit. Vineyards cover the rolling, stony hills and wineries and cellar doors are plentiful, providing its visitors with some of the best wine the world has to offer. Particularly famous for its powerful and zesty Sauvignon Blanc, visitors are sure to find their perfect match. The region spans from the Kaikoura District in the Canterbury region up to Marlborough, with most wineries concentrated in Blenheim. Begin your trip in Hanmer Springs at the Alpine Adventure Holiday Park giving you a fantastic start point on your journey north.
The small West Coast settlement of Punakaiki is best known for its incredible rock formations – the Pancake Rocks. Situated between Westport and Greymouth, Punakaiki and The Pancake Rocks have been a tourist magnet for decades. The coast line is a treasure trove of lush coastal forest, canyons, caves, pristine rivers, wonderous walkways and tremendous limestone cliffs. Enjoy a delicious pancake lunch at the Pancake Rocks Cafe after you have marvelled at the rock formations across the road. Continue on your way down to Hokitika along one of the most stunning coastal highways New Zealand has to offer – roaring ocean on one side, rich rainforest on the other. While you are enjoying your West Coast Adventure, make sure to book your stay at the Hokitika Holiday Park and use your Family Parks Travel Rewards to receive great discounts at a number of exciting attractions along the way such as, The Westcoast Treetop Walkway, Underworld Adventures and the family friendly Shanty Town.
The largest city in New Zealand’s South Island, Christchurch is a must-see on any visitor’s list. A distinctly English city, Christchurch also boasts cutting edge modern architecture. As well as a rich heritage, Christchurch is a modern day triumph. Surviving a devasting earthquake in 2011, Christchurch has had a magnificent make over, it’s carefully curated cityscapes should not be missed. A bustling modern metropolis in the city, surrounded by beautiful beaches, peninsulas and bays, explorable hills, legendary plains and the Southern Alps, its diversity welcomes visitors from far and wide. North South Holiday Park in Christchurch’s Northern suburbs provides a range of affordable accommodation in a park-like setting. Conveniently located, it is the closest holiday park to all major campervan depots and the Christchurch Airport as well as an easy drive to shopping malls, wineries, golf courses, the Waimakariri River and wildlife parks. Use your Family Parks Rewards Membership to get your 3rd night free!
Ōpuke Thermal Springs
The newest wellness destination in New Zealand’s South Island – Ōpuke Thermal Springs in Methven, will transport you to your own oasis. The solar powered pools with water sourced from the mountains are a luxurious and sustainable dream! With both family friendly Discover Pools and adult-exclusive Tranquility Pools, Ōpuke Thermal Springs caters for every type of visitor. Some of it’s highlights include a star-lit cave, a sensational plunge pool and a crazy river. Operating in set session times, bookings are essential. Rakaia River Holiday Park is just 27 minutes away by car offering you a quick journey to paradise during your stay.
Top image by Sébastien Goldberg on Unsplash