New Zealand is located in the south-western Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main islands, North Island and South Island and also many small islands. The two main islands were divided by the Cook Strait which has 20 km wide. The nearest neighboring countries to New Zealand is Australia but It is still 2,000 kilometers away from New Zealand's North Island, therefore New Zealand is a country away from all other countries in the world.

If measuring the development aspect between North Island and South Island, the North Island would be more developed. Perhaps because the North Island is the location to the capital city, "Wellington", but if we measure the beauty of nature, the South Island would be nicer with a variety of beautiful sights. Therefore, in this trip, I would recommend you guys 20 attractions on the South Island.

1. Castle Hill

Castle Hill is a huge rocky field that standing eminently on a hill. These rocks are naturally occurring. It is quiet amazed as the surrounding area is a low hill that was covered with grassland but there is also a beautiful extraordinary stone field located here.

Visiting Castle Hill is free of charge. From the parking lot, if you want to see the atmosphere in the stone field, you have to walk about 300-400 meters inwards. When you reach the stone field, I suggest you guys to use the same route for climbing up and down which would be a left route as it is less steep than the right route. The route condition is a small path that occurs from people walking over and over on the same route. Well, walking along the right route would be rather steep and it is also a bit dangerous. When you walk to the inside area of the stone field, you will find a variety size of rocks which looks like the Plain of Jars in Laos combines with Sam Phan Bok in Thailand.

2. Otira Viaduct

Otira Viaduct Lookout is a viaduct that surrounded by majestic mountains. if you come in a right time, you would see the beam shines through this viaduct which is really beautiful. At Otira Viaduct Lookout, if you are lucky, you could have a chance to see the kea which is a large species of parrot. They are very intelligent and are very familiar with people. they came close to the people in very near distance, it's like they don't fear of people at all. Kea is a rare bird that is almost extinct from New Zealand.

3. Franz Josef Glaciers

Franz Josef Glaciers is one of the most famous glaciers in the world. It is caused by the deposition of snow on the summit, so it becomes a large iceberg, it flows from the summit down to the ground below and becomes to be a bright blue glacier. There are 2 methods to travel to Franz Josef Glaciers which are walking and taking helicopter, for those who would like to use helicopter service, you may contact the service in Franz Josef City as there are many companies offer this service, the service fee costs 245$ per 20 minutes and you might have to reserve in advance. Badly as I traveled during Spring and most of the glaciers already melted away so I missed to see the beautiful glaciers.

4. Thunder Creek Falls

Thunder Creek Falls is a sideway falls, we have to walk a bit to inside area which spend around 15 minutes for round trip. The route is easy to walk along as it is pretty shady, walking into the forest. The falls could only overlook from far distance because there is a river flows in the middle. The falls itself is considerably high.

5. Blue Pools

It's a pity that the Blue Pools on the day that I traveled is not as beautiful as it should be, it is because of the weather condition that makes the water murky.

The scenery that I have seen.

The way it used to be.

Picture Credit:

The scenery that I have seen.

The way it used to be.

Picture Credit:

We have to walk approximately 1 kilometer for round trip to go to the inside area of Blue Pools. The route is similar to the walkway in Thunder Creek Falls which is quiet convenient and shady and there is also a rope bridge for a bit exciting. Around the bridge area, we could walk down to the stone yard below, the stones at this area are flat and round, the scenery looks like Koh Hin Ngam in Tarutao National Marine Park in Thailand. The moisture of this forest comes from big trees and moss. The scenery is really beautiful, I would say.

6. Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka is New Zealand's fourth largest lake. The morning atmosphere around this area is pretty beautiful and peaceful. The lake was surrounded by large trees that are changing color. In the lake, you can see the reflection of trees and mountains as well.

7. Cromwell

Cromwell is a city that is famous for its fruit orchards. Upon getting into Cromwell City, we would see vineyards on both sides, then we visit Jones's Fruit Stall Shop to buy some fresh fruits. This shop sells fresh fruits, dried fruits and processed products. It has a wide selection for fresh fruit. They would sell fruit by weight or whole bag and the price is not expensive.

8. The stream that roared

The stream that roared is a location of Roaring Meg, it is a hydroelectric power plant. It is named after the sound of the water through these rock crevices which sound like a roar.

9. Arrowtown

Arrowtown is a city of gold mines in ancient times. At that time, there are Chinese people come to do the gold mines. Currently, the gold mining in Arrowtown is still running but it is not popular like the past. On the contrary, this city has become a charming city that could attract tourists to come visiting as it is said that this town is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand for watching leaves changing color scenery.

10. Queenstown

Queenstown is another important city of the South Island, there is the Remarkable Mountains range in a long line. The beauty of Remarkable Mountains has been guaranteed by being chosen as a scene in The Lord of the Ring 2.

11. Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu is the second largest lake in the South Island, covering an area of 290 square kilometers, 372 meters deep. The average lake temperature is 11.5 degrees Celsius and it is located right in the heart of Queenstown.

12. Bob’s Peak

Bob's Peak is a panoramic high angle viewpoint of Queenstown. To get to the top of Bob's Peak, we will have to take Gondola cablecar up. Bob's Peak has 2 more exciting activities, the first is the Skyline Luge, which is a ride that rides down along the hillside and one more activity is bungee jumping.

13. Coronet Peak

Coronet Peak is a popular ski resort in the winter. Well, even it is not winter and there is no snow, tourist could also come to admire an endless beautiful view in the high angle. The view on the top is stunning, I would say.

14. Milford Sound

Milford Sound has been declared as a natural heritage of the Antarctic. There are only two of these natural features in the world, one of them is the marine landscape that used to be a glacier in ancient times, then the erosion has caused the flood to become a deep bay at last. There are a lot of interesting spots in Milford Sound such as watching dolphins and seals, Bowen Falls, Stirling Falls

The beauty of Milford Sound has been applauded by Joseph Rudyard Kipling, a British writer who writes The Jungle Book, he regards this place as the 8th wonder of the world.

15. Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake is part of Fiordland National Park, it's located right on the roadside, but to go admiring the clarity of the lake, we have to walk further a little around 5 minutes to inside area. The route is pretty convenient and it's easy to walk along. Too bad that during I have visited the place, the water in the lake is not that calm therefore the reflection is not reflected as it should.

16. A.J.Hackett

A.J.Hackett is the world's first bungee jump spot. The height of the Kawarau Bridge Bungy is 43 meters. You could choose one person or two people jumping, the fee would cost 205$.

17. Bushy Beach Scenic Reserve

Bushy Beach Scenic Reserve is the penguin watch spot of Oamaru. The walkway here is built on a ridge parallel to the beach and it is pretty convenient, just walk along around 5 minutes, then you will reach at the watch spot. To watch penguins, it depends on individual's luck, for me I have seen only 2 of them from far distance. What I have seen in the very near distance is fur seals.

18. Mount Cook Alpine Salmon

Mount Cook Alpine Salmon is a sliced salmon shop. There are fresh salmon and smoked salmon. At this spot, you guys could admire the view of Mount Cook Peak (Mount Cook Peak, according to the information I have searched, has reached the height of 3,754 meters). The scenery around Mount Cook Alpine Salmon is attractively beautiful. Moreover, from this spot, you could watch the view of Lake Pukaki as well. It is said that this lake is beautiful like the painting so it was denominated as Million Dollar View. The photo that I have taken couldn't compare with the real scenery I have seen. Although I have tried to take a lot of photos but they still couldn't express the real extraordinary beauty of this place.

19. Lake Tekapo

It is said that Lake Tekapo is one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand. It has a total area approximately 83 square kilometers. The thing that attracts tourist to travel to Lake Tekapo would be the beauty of the turquoise lake water which is caused by the melting of ice on the South Alps, it eroded rocks that rich in minerals before flowing into the lake and when the sun shines on the lake, these melted minerals will reflect the light in turquoise color which is pretty beautiful.

20. Church of Good Shepherd

Church of the Good Shepherd, the smallest church in New Zealand but even it is small, it also usually used to perform various ceremonies. The church is located by Lake Tekapo. During evening time, when the sun is going down, the golden light would shine on the peak that situated behind the church, the scenery is so stunning. The scenery in the morning is also spectacular, it seems like the church is floating on the clouds. Moreover, the sky at Lake Tekapo is considerably dark and there is no disturbed light so it is an ideal place to see the Milky Way.

21. Seal Colony

Seal Colony of Kaikoura is the home of fur seals. Most seals live on the rocky beach. To come watching the seals, we should be at least 10 meters away from them because some seals are familiar with people but some may be like to keep space so they would growl out.

22. Whale Flights

Kaikoura is a small town located on the west coast. It is famous for its whale watching cruise. Therefore, not to be missed activity to do in Kaikoura is taking a small plane for whale watching. Moreover, in each season we may see different types of whales, as for me, during the time I traveled there, I have seen the Blue whales.

23. Shotover Jet

In addition to the natural beauty, the South Island also has a challenging activity which is the Adventure activities, and one of the activities is Shotover Jet. If you guys would like to try riding on Shotover Jet, you could contact the agency in Queenstown, there are a lot of agencies to choose from. Well, you guys could also walk-in to book for this activity like our group. The price for the ride costs 149$ per person for approximately 20 minutes.

24. Sheep Farm

New Zealand is a country where sheep are kept for commercial purposes whether it be their wool, mutton and milk. Therefore, whether we travel to any city in New Zealand, we would find sheep farm all over places. There are a lot of species of sheep here. Visiting New Zealand without taking a photo of sheep, it's like you haven't reach New Zealand.

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 Thursday, June 14, 2018 1:49 PM