Top 10 Pictures from New Zealand’s South Island

“It’s not where you are but who you’re with that really matters.” – Dave Matthews Band

The South Island of New Zealand may be the most naturally beautiful place on the planet. If there is a more scenic destination, please tell us because we’ll want to go there. We were lucky enough to be able to spend our time here with my family, for which we are incredibly grateful. Here are 10 pictures from the South Island that will attempt, but ultimately fail, to capture the stunning beauty of this place:

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

Mirror Lakes en route to Milford Sound

Mirror Lakes en route to Milford Sound

Driving on the "wrong" side of the road combined with these views literally everywhere you look can make for some driving challenges...but Dad handled them well

Driving on the “wrong” side of the road combined with these views literally everywhere you look can make for some driving challenges…but Dad handled them well

Alison killing it on the Nevis Bungy in Queenstown

Alison killing it on the Nevis Bungy in Queenstown

Central Otago wine country - how often do you see vineyards in front of snow-capped mountains?

Central Otago wine country – how often do you see vineyards in front of snow-capped mountains?

Sun beating down on the Franz Josef glacier

Sun beating down on the Franz Josef glacier

Franz Josef crew.  Although it may not look the case, thankfully no one was hurt here.

Franz Josef crew. Although it may not look the case, thankfully no one was hurt here.

Kaikoura, a little town packed with beaches, snow-capped mountains, seal colonies, and the largest mussels you will ever see

Kaikoura, a little town packed with beaches, snow-capped mountains, seal colonies, and the largest mussels you will ever see

Driving near Arthur's Pass

Driving near Arthur’s Pass

All the beauty here meant nothing compared to luxury of spending time with family... and seeing Mom tipsy at a vineyard.

All the beauty here meant nothing compared to luxury of spending time with family… and seeing Mom tipsy at a vineyard.

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5 thoughts on “Top 10 Pictures from New Zealand’s South Island

  1. How was the weather in NZ in June? Our current RTW plans will put us there around the same time next year. We are planning to do some trekking so I was worried that winter in NZ might be too cold/snowy. What were your experiences in winter there?

    • Hi Katherine, I’ve been to NZ twice, both times for about a month and during June/ July. The weather at that time of year depends on where you are. The South Island is cold, around freezing, particularly farther south in Queenstown/ Fiordland area. Almost all walking tracks (multi-day treks) down there are closed that time of year due to weather. I believe there are some open on the northern part of the South Island (Nelson area) that may be worth lookin into but based on our experience it would be pretty cold and miserable to try the walking tracks there in June. Working up north the Bay of Plenty region is much more temperate, up to 18-20C during the day (haven’t been further north to 90 Mile Beach but probably even warmer up there). That said, there are cold nights, particularly middle of the north island, at that time in Taupo, Rotorua, etc, but good day treks that are open year round (Tongariro Crossing) with comfortable day temps (12-15C). June is a good time to go to NZ in general with MUCH less crowds than their summer, but if you are going there primarily for the walking tracks you may want to do more research on what’s available/ comfortable at that time, which will probably limit you to the North Island. The department of conservation website (http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/) is very helpful for all the walking tracks, including weather tips and reserving huts in advance. Hope this helps and let us know if you have any other questions. You’ll love NZ no matter when you go, it is a gorgeous country!

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