Upper South Island and the West Coast Feature

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Top Reasons to Go to Upper South Island and the West Coast

Mountains and Glaciers: The South Island is piled high with mountains that divide the island lengthwise. You can walk or ski them, or catch a helicopter to a glacier.

Wildlife: The upper South Island is home to the tuatara, which lives on several protected islands in the Marlborough Sounds. South by Lake Moeraki, you may see Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals. At Kaikoura the whales come inshore to feed, and kea swoop over alpine valleys.

Wine: In Marlborough the sunny-day–cool-night climate means grapes come off the vines plump with flavor, giving wines with aromas that burst out of the glass. At any of the smaller wineries, you'll likely share your first taste with the winemakers themselves.

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