Five Unique Activities You Can Only Do On New Zealand’s South Island

Whether you’re into relaxing sightseeing or adrenaline-pumping sports, New Zealand’s South Island is full of activities for all sorts of adventurers. When on your New Zealand South Island tour, make sure you check out these five unique places and take part in their activities that can only be experienced on New Zealand’s South Island. 

1. Glowworm Caves in Hokitika

Although the New Zealand night sky is something to appreciate on its own, Hokitika’s Glowworm Dell offers a spectacular sparkling view that can be seen even on the cloudiest of days! Glowworm Dell is a canyon full of sparkling blue-white star-like glow of glowworms that sits just off the highway. It’s a completely free experience that you won’t want to miss! For the best view, go very late at night to catch the light show in the pitch dark. 

2. Fishing in the Glacier Lakes and Canals around Twizel

The stark turquoise blue of the glacier-filled lakes surrounding Twizel and Mount Cook are a spectacular sight to see. The area is also well known for its trout fishing, and there are many fish farms operating out of the man-made canals in the surrounding areas. Tourists can rent gear and get a 24 hour fishing license to try their hand at catching “the big one” while looking out over one of the most picturesque lakes on the island.

3. Climb the rocks on Castle Hill

Between Darfield and Arthur’s Pass lies Castle Hill, a spot where it looks as if a range of giant limestone boulders have been dropped from the sky onto open rolling, green hills. These smooth rocks are perfect for rock climbers who want to do some open air bouldering, or for amateur adventurers who just want to play around on the big natural playground.

4. Swimming with Dolphins

There are many places in the world where you can swim with dolphins, but the South Island offers a truly unique experience because of the type of dolphin you’ll see. In Akaroa lives the world’s smallest dolphin called Hector Dolphins, which can only be found in New Zealand! Tours are offered so that you can swim with these small water mammals in their natural habitat. These friendly dolphins are sure to come and say hello, and you may also spot penguins and seals!

5. Camping in the Fiordlands

Fiordland National Park is a gorgeous, expansive park that should be an absolute must-do on your South Island bucket list. With few hotels within the park, and Milford Sound just hours away from the nearest town, the best way to experience the park is to camp. There are many campsites within the park that offer amazing mountain and lake views, with plenty of trails for all fitness levels that you can explore. Just keep in mind that waking up and leaving your campsite early will give you a major leg up on the crowds that will inevitably arrive to the trails late morning and afternoon. And remember to bring your insect repellent to ward off those pesky sand flies!

Victoria Brewood

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

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