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Favorite South Island Places

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Favorite South Island Places
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These are a few of my personal favourite places I have been fortunate to visit in NZ. All images are taken by me on various road trips. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!



South Island - Westland - Blue Pools

The Blue Pools, Haast to Wanaka Highway

A short 5-10 minute walk from a carpark, over a swingbridge to the junction of the Blue and Makaroroa rivers. Clear blue water, can see trout swimming at times. The swingbridge is worth it alone! Check out the flood level records at the viewing platforms, and then try to visualise the flood levels from the stone flats. Oh yeah - take insect repellent.

Carpark at S44.16441 E169.27658

Google Map



South Island - North Cantebury - Sylvia Flats Hotsprings

Just a walk of a minute or two from a carpark right beside a river. Very popular but not signposted. Take industrial strength sandfly repellent.

Look for a rest area off the Lewis Pass Highway on the eastern side of the pass. Not too far from the Deerstalkers hut. I've stopped here a number of times and every time it has been different with the river moving the rocks around.

S42.49034 E172.38672

Google Map

600m ASL so in winter there is a good chance of snow.



South Island - Otago - Cardrona Hotel

Historic, iconic Cardrona Hotel. Does a good line of food, coffee and beer. Very nice gardens at the rear of the hotel.

S44.88122 E169.00384

On the Crown Range road between Queenstown and Wanaka, so good there is a copy built in Auckland (Mt Eden)



South Island - Mt Cook - Mueller lookout

Mueller lookout

Excellent view of the Mueller glacier lake, much more dramatic than the Kia Point lookout and easier to walk to. About 10 minutes easy walk from the carpark at the end of the Hooker Valley Road. Take the track marked Hooker Valley and the lookout is off to the left about 800m from the campground at the road end.

If you do have a couple of hours to spare it is worth the walk up the Hooker Valley. The terminal lake has ice floating in it, and has spectacular views up to Mount Cook (as long as the cloud stays back)

S43.71674 E170.10266



South Island - Marlborough Sounds - Lookout Point

Lookout Point, Marlborough Sounds. Awesome view of the Sounds. A couple of minutes walk from a carpark located just off Queen Charlotte Drive near Havelock, 3.6km from the Havelock end. The view isn't so spectacular if the tide is out

S41.26738 E173.78315

Google Map




South Island - Westland - Amethyst Hot Springs

Natural hot water pools on the side of a Westland river. Take industrial strength sandfly repellent and a camera - it's a beautiful location and a unique experience. The pools may need to be dug out or at least cleaned out, take a spade in with you if you can, it will make life easier

S43.16917 E170.62861
Google Map

Walk in approx 500m from a road end carpark at S43.16449 E170.6279, access off the Harihari Highway



South Island - Otago - Remarkables lookout

Remarkables (Wakatipu / Shadow Basin) lookout. Awesome views over the Queenstown area.

From Queenstown, take State Highway 6 south and turn up the Remarkables Skifield road. The road has spectacular views of the region as it climbs. Don't go up it if you can't handle heights. Park at the skifield carpark (S45.05373 E168.81391) 1,619m ASL and put your hiking boots on. If it's winter the Shadow Basin chairlift may be running which will take you most of the way up. If not... start walking up. It's a pretty stiff walk up to the Shadow Basin end of the chairlift, but worth it (374 meters higher than the carpark) Take warm clothes etc as it's exposed. A fair degree of fitness needed as well :wink:

On the road down, if you can find somewhere safe to pull over, it's pretty cool to watch 737's land and take off at the Queenstown airport below.

S45.05807 E168.80048 1,993m ASL

Google Map


South Island - Nelson - Kaiteriteri

Maybe the best looking beach in NZ? Perfect golden sands... :) Fish and chips at sunset on the beach.

S41.03664 E173.01763

Google Map



South Island - Nelson - Riwaka Resurgence

Right at the base of the Takeka hills, the Riwaka River emerges from a cave. The water is freezing cold - brass monkey material, but it is a cave diving favorite. A short bush walk along a well formed track with steps and handrails.

S41.03181 E172.90039

Google Map


South Island - Kaikoura - Seals in a waterfall

Quite unique - for most of the year seal pups swim up a stream and spend the day in the safety of a fresh water stream and waterfall. The pool at the bottom of the waterfall is full of seal pups. An easy path follows the stream up from the roadside to the waterfall.

The waypoint below is the carpark

S42.24479 E173.83137

Google Map



Last Updated on Sunday, 04 December 2011 07:54