10 BEST ACTIVITIES ON THE SOUTH ISLAND - NEW ZEALAND

Updated: Jun 7, 2019


1. MOUNT COOK – TASMAN VALLEY 4WD ARGO TOUR / (MOUNT COOK)

Explore the beautiful Aoraki Mount Cook National Park with the Tasman Valley 4WD Argo Tour. This 8 wheel off-roading experience takes you through streams, snow, ice and steep mountainous terrain. That is sure to promise you incredible views of the majestic Southern Alps and Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s longest glacier sitting at 14.6 miles in length. Although that sounds like a whole lot of “ice ice baby”, the Tasman Glacier has unfortunately hit a period of rapid melting this past century, meaning it won’t last long. We highly recommend you make this a must see, before it's too late! #It'sGettingHotInHere

TASMAN VALLEY 4WD ARGO TOUR (Adult NZD: $80 / Child: $40)


2. MOUNT COOK – HOOKER VALLEY HIKING / (MOUNT COOK)

If hiking is your jam, the hiking at Hooker Valley in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a must try. We did the Mount Cook Day Hike but you can easily escort yourself through the 11 kilometer (6.8 mile) round trip trek. This out and back hike takes you to Hooker Lake where you come face to face with massive icebergs that have broken free from the Hooker Glacier. With three major swing bridges, numerous glacier lakes, streams and viewpoints, your eyes will be begging for more! #TheyHadUsAtIceberg

MOUNT COOK – HALF DAY GUIDED HIKES (Adult NZD: $76 / Child: $40)

MOUNT COOK – FULL DAY GUIDED HIKES (Adult NZD: $116 / Child: $70)


3. MOUNT COOK – TASMAN GLACIER BOAT TRIP / (MOUNT COOK)

As you can see by now we are big fans of Mount Cook, so if you haven’t had enough we highly suggest you visit the Tasman Glacier with Glacier Explorers to get an up close and personal look at New Zealand’s largest glacier sitting 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) wide. How’s that for size? You’ll be escorted to the glacier’s edge on MAC boats where your guide gives you the low down on the glacier’s history, the terminal lake formation it created, plate tectonics and other fun facts of the day. Did I mention you’ll also navigate through numerous icebergs of all shapes and sizes, with the chance to touch and taste 500 year old ice crystals? #Who’sHungry?

GLACIER EXPLORERS – AORAKI MOUNT COOK (Adult NZD: $155 / Child: $77.50)


4. LAKE PUKAKI

You’ll be saying HOLY BLUE after you see this natural wonder. We passed Lake Pukaki as we left Mount Cook and began our drive to Queenstown - cars were pulling over for miles to take in the magnificent view. Lake Pukaki is the largest of three alpine lakes, sitting at 179 km (111 miles) long to be exact, and is known for its distinctive ice blue color (caused by glacier rock flour which in English means extremely fine rock particles extracted from the landscape). With snow capped mountains to your left and right and this mesmerizing ice blue lake before you, your camera will be begging you to take some photos! #LightsCameraAction


5. OVER THE TOP MILFORD HELI CRUISE / (MILFORD SOUND)

Sometimes in life you just have to splurge! So we saved up our pennies for an Over The Top Milford Heli Cruise. This locally owned and operated helicopter company has been taking adventurers to the next level since 1976. With a variety of tours to choose from, we opted for the scenic flight to Milford Sound. You board a heli in Queenstown then land in a small-secluded airport that looks like a scene from Jurassic Park. Immediately you’re escorted to a relaxing cruise as you embark on a tour of the entire fjord, with stunning green cliffs surrounding you, calm dark waters, and frosty alpine peaks at every turn. And it gets even better! On the flight home, your pilot may surprise you with a glacier landing for panoramic views of snowcapped mountains, lush green valleys and ice blue streams below. #YouHadUsAtHelicopter

OVER THE TOP – MILFORD HELI CRUISE (Adult NZD: $5,300)


6. QUEENSTOWN BIKE TRAIL - MOUNTAIN BIKING / (QUEENSTOWN)

If you aren’t a huge mountain biking fan, you will be after trying the Queenstown Bike Trail! We rented bikes from Ultimate Queenstown Bike Rentals then hit the world famous 100-kilometer network of bike trails. (These trails cover all cycling levels; so don’t worry if you’re no Lance Armstrong). We rode our bikes to Arrowtown, a quaint old mining village 46 kilometers from Queenstown, for a well-deserved bottle of wine and lunch. Then, we requested a van escort back to town since our legs were done for the day. Whether it’s a self-guided tour through wineries, hitting the world-famous Kawarau Bungee Bridge for a jump on the go, or a leisurely ride through grass covered valleys and farm country – the Queenstown Bike Trail has it all. #ItsAllAboutThatCycleLife

ULTIMATE QUEENSTOWN BIKE RENTALS – HALF DAY (Adult NZD: $30 / Child: $30)

ULTIMATE QUEENSTOWN BIKE RENTALS – FULL DAY (Adult NZD: $45 / Child: $45)


7. SHOTOVER JET / (QUEENSTOWN)

When visiting Queenstown – you can’t leave without trying the Shotover Jet experience. Your expedition begins in the Shotover River (surprise surprise!) where you are greeted by your expert driver and get settled into your boat. Once seatbelts are fastened and secure, it’s go time! You’ll wind through narrow canyons, boulders and rocky outcrops at incredible speeds, missing rock edges by only a foot! It’s an adrenaline filled ride of a lifetime filled with breathtaking views and exhilarating 360° spins. Even more impressive is the fact that you’re riding at 85 kilometers per hour on only 10 cm of water (talk about an engineering masterpiece!) This ride is sure to call all adrenaline junkies and wannabes alike. #AreYOUThereYet?

SHOTOVER JET (Adult NZD: $145 / Child: $75)


8. APPELLATION CENTRAL WINE TOURS / (QUEENSTOWN)

If wine tasting is your jam, we highly suggest you try the Appellation Central Wine Tours. This full day affair takes you through Central Otago to several beautiful boutique vineyards for some spectacular scenery, food and wine. You’ll hit four vineyards in total, including Gibbston Valley, Cromwell and Bannockburn. The highlight of the tour for us was an enchanting lunch and tasting at Carrick Winery where we delighted our senses with delicious food based on local favorites and wine absolutely to die for. We made sure to keep the re-fills a comin’. This wine tasting tour will not disappoint. #SoAskYourselfWineNot?

APPELLATION CENTRAL WINE TOURS (Adult NZD: $199)


9. THE BATHHOUSE – SUNSET DINNER / (QUEENSTOWN)

The Bathhouse Tapas Bar & Restaurant at first glance looks more like a gazebo than a fine dining restaurant but do not let its outer exterior deceive you! Here you get the best of both worlds – dinner with a view and food that makes you ask the waiter for more. The Bathhouse is a historical gem, built in 1911, this cute little restaurant has a large sun deck overlooking Lake Wakatipu that promises to provide uninterrupted views of the Queenstown bay and the mountainous terrain behind. If you’re not sure what’s a must try from the menu we recommend the Seafood Chowder – filled with blue cod, mussels and prawns cooked to perfection you’ll want to savor ever bite. (As you can tell we did!!!) Let’s just say we left 20 lbs heavier, feeling fat and satisfied. #TaxiPlease


10. KAWARAU BRIDGE BUNGEE JUMPING / (QUEENSTOWN)

As mentioned prior, New Zealand is known as the “Adventure Capital of the World” but a fun little side fact, it also happens to be the “World Home of Bungee Jumping” (#WhoKnew) so it’s only fitting that you end your trip with a bang … or shall we say bungee? The Kawarau Bridge Bungee was created in 1988 as the world’s 1st commercial bungee jump. Standing 43 meters tall, this is easily one of the most exhilarating experiences Queenstown has to offer. (Fun Fact Of The Day – This is also Queenstown’s ONLY Tandem Bungee Jumping Site … so if you wanna go with a friend then this spot has your name on it). And since the bungee drops you above a river, you can even touch the water if that tickles your fancy! #SoManyOptionsSoLittleTime

KAWARAU BRIDGE BUNGEE JUMPING (Adult NZD: $195 / Child: $145)

#Travel #Adventure #NewZealand

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