The South Island of New Zealand with AAT Kings | TravelResearchOnline

The South Island of New Zealand with AAT Kings

New Zealand, just off the east coast of Australia, is separated into two primary islands. The North Island, warmer with bigger cities, is where most of Maori culture lives. The South Island, however, is known for sparse natural landscapes. From skiing snow-capped mountains to hiking lush forests, the South Island offers a great getaway. That’s why AAT Kings wants to show the traveler how beautiful New Zealand is though their tours.

60-Second Geography

South Island, New Zealand

South Island, New Zealand with AAT Kings

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  • South Island, the larger of the two islands, spans 151, 215 sq. km and is mostly made up of forests, lakes, beaches, and fiords. Compared to its northern counterpart, South Island is drier and cooler. Though, the temperature can get up to 86°F during the summer. The island is divided into east and west by what many refer to as the Southern Alps. This collection of mountain ranges runs approximately 311 miles northeast to southwest. The highest point in New Zealand is the Aoraki (or, Mount Cook), at 12,128 ft. The Southern Alps feature many areas and lodges where skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are available.

  • Kaikoura is a well-known town of the South Island. It lies along the northeast coast of the island, and in some places the traveler will find the mountains drop almost directly into the sea. The town of Kaikoura is located at the base of the Kaikoura Peninsula. From the town, the traveler can see the snow-capped Seaward Kaikoura Range. The peninsula is in the perfect place of incoming currents to bring a large amount of marine life, making it one of the best spots for sperm whale watching. The traveler can swim with dolphins and observe southern fur seals along the rocky parts of the coast.

  • On the most northern part of South Island is the town of Nelson. It is surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges, and Tasman bay on the fourth side. Its nickname is ‘Sunny Nelson’, because of almost year-long sunny weather. But, Nelson is only a jumping point to many other activities. The nearby Abel Tasman National Park, founded in 1942, covers an area of 92 sq mi. The park includes forested areas for the traveler to take relaxing hikes, the coast and islands of the Golden Bay and Tasman bay, and includes one of New Zealand’s six Great Walks (hiking trails). The adventurous traveler will love the area around Nelson as the activities also include kayaking, sailing and horseback riding along the coast – all with a fantastic view of the coast’s limestone cliffs and abundant marine life.

  • South Island is known worldwide for the high-quality skiing and snowboarding of the Southern Alps. Near the town of Christchurch, Mt. Hutt is the largest alpine ski area on the South Island. With a summit of 7,185 ft above sea level and a regular coating of snow from June to September, the traveler will enjoy a ski holiday like no other. Other areas for great skiing include Mt. Cook, Queenstown, and Central North Island.

The South Island region of New Zealand shares much of the benefits of a Patagonia-like atmosphere, without the more frigid temperatures. AAT Kings has many tours that show this, and more about the South Island. The adventurous traveler will enjoy the natural and sparsely populated lands of the island.

The Southern Drift

5 star, small group, maximum 20 passengers onboard. Touring has a heavy focus on food, wine, Indigenous culture and off the beaten path experiences. All breakfasts, dinners and touring are included.

Southern Spectacular

This is from our First Choice Guided Vacations. Most touring is included and breakfast each day as well as most dinners. Accommodation is 4 star in central locations.

Southern Wonders

This is from our Best Buy Guided Vacations. Some touring is included with options to purchase additional touring while traveling, this gives more freedom for those not wanting to be tied down to a guided tour. Accommodation is 3 star, breakfasts are included and some dinners.

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