Upper South Island and the West Coast Travel Guide


Photo of Upper South Island and the West Coast Photo: Ian Trafford/Tourism New Zealand

Plan Your Upper South Island and the West Coast Vacation

The South Island has been carved by ice, water, and tectonic uplift, all processes still rapidly occurring. Here, the mellow farmland greens and jumbled forest-covered ranges of the North Island are replaced by snowcapped mountains, glaciers, rivers that sprawl across wide-shingle beds and, in the northeast, drowned river valleys.


Upper South Island and the West Coast Hotels

Bed-and-breakfasts, farm stays, and homestays, all a variation on the same theme, abound in the South Island in some... read more


Upper South Island and the West Coast Restaurants

In Marlborough visit a winery restaurant—there's no better way to ensure that your meal suits what you're drinking. Cloudy... read more


Upper South Island and the West Coast Experiences

  • Top Reasons to Go

    Mountains, Glaciers, and Beaches: Hiking, climbing, short rain forest and coastal walks, glacier walks and scenic flights, and... Read more

  • Abel Tasman National Park

    Golden sand, sheltered bays, and granite headlands are washed by clear blue water and fast-moving tides; rocky inshore islands provide... Read more

  • Kahurangi National Park

    Kahurangi is a vast wilderness of marbled karst mountains, glaciated landforms, alpine tablelands, rivers, alpine tarns and beech,... Read more

  • Nelson Lakes National Park

    Snow-covered peaks and alpine passes sit between two deep brooding, forest-surrounded lakes. Dense native forest, swampy wetlands, and... Read more

  • Paparoa National Park

    Towering granite cliffs and stacks of pancake rocks, dark tannin-stained rivers edged by virgin kahikatea forest, karst landscapes... Read more

  • Westland/Tai Poutini National Park

    Gigantic blocks of ice creaking high on the glacier, their blueness sparkling in the sun; sheer, black glacial-gouged bluffs and tons of... Read more

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