The ferry ride between the North and the South Islands of New Zealand is considered to be one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world. And this was not even between the best things we saw in our three weeks journey through the South Island. If you’re looking for postcard perfect landscape and a little bit of everything what nature has to offer, the South Island is a top choice. Here are some of the main attractions that we visited.
Milford Sound – We could not miss the Fiordland of New Zealand so we went for a half day trip through the Milford Sound. Here you can see the mountains rising all the way from the sea as well as sea-lions, penguins and lots of other animals. Another memorable experience was when the captain went with the nose of the ship under a waterfall and the crew filled up glasses with glacier water for all the passengers. Take a look at the video.
Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki – We weren’t sure if we will ever find a lake that matches the beauty of Canada’s Moraine Lake but Lake Pukaki is definitely playing in the same league. The drive to the base of Mount Cook goes along Lake Pukaki and we stopped tens of times to take pictures because the view was so amazing. Again, too bad that the pictures don’t completely show its real beauty.
Franz Josef and Fox Glacier – are New Zealand’s two main glaciers. We took a guided tour on the Fox Glacier because this was reachable more easily than the Franz Josef Glacier where you had to take a helicopter to drop you off on top of the glacier. The two glaciers are not as spectacular as the Perito Moreno in Argentina but the hike was still worth it.
Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula – We liked Dunedin a lot as it has really nice old architecture and looks like a city where nothing happens very fast. They also claim to have the steepest residential road in the world so we couldn’t miss driving this road up and down . The Otago Peninsula is right near Dunedin and it has lots to offer. Here you can also find a colony of yellow eyed penguins which are native to New Zealand. On the peninsula you can also see the only castle in New Zealand.
Christchurch – We also visited the city of Christchurch, the third largest city of New Zealand. It was hardly damaged by the earthquake in 2011. Even if the construction work continues, a big part of downtown Christchurch is a red zone with restricted access. That area looks literally like a ghost town and it looks like the shop owners are not willing to invest in this area for a long time.