South Island at a glance The dominant feature of New Zealand’s stunning South Island is the Southern Alps, mountains which form the island’s backbone, and create a dramatic landscape of glaciers, lakes, rivers and fiords. To the east of the mountains lies the fertile patchwork of the Canterbury Plains, whilst the rich soils to the north have lent themselves to one of the world’s finest wine-producing regions, Marlborough. There’s a real flavour of home in the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch, and in Scottish- influenced Dunedin, whilst Queenstown is the activity capital, which challenges all the senses.
Kahurangi National Park
Franz Josef Glacier
FLIGHT INFORMATION: Christchurch is the main gateway to the South Island, with direct international services from Asia and the South Pacific, and frequent domestic connections across New Zealand. Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin all have direct flights from a number of Australian cities. FLYING TIME FROM UK: Approx. 24 hours
BEST TIME TO VISIT: The South Island is considered a temperate climate, and the best time to visit is summer (Dec-Feb) when temperatures average 20-30°C. The winter months (Jun-Aug) are mild, typically around 10-15°C; although the alpine areas and ski resorts experience regular snowfall and below-zero temperatures. The west coast is wetter than the east coast, much of which lies in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps. TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT +12 hours
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