Are you ready to feel like in a dream? The South Island offers mountain peaks, the deepest blue lakes, lush forests and beyond stunning coastlines.
The South Island was my favourite, the mountains are crazy beautiful, the wineries are delicious, and the WHOLE road trip was just “WOW”, it was honestly hard to look down because the landscapes are insane!
On cloud wine, no literally! Some wineries are so high up you feel like you’re in the clouds, and the wine…..wow, every glass we had was delicious. 🍷
Ok, shall we get into it?!
We noticed some signs for wineries on the North Island, but never checked them out, nor did we see the vineyards. Right when we got off the ferry on the South island we noticed Wineries EVERYWHERE! Driving, we noticed vineyards to the left and to the right of us! I couldn’t stop but look with excitement, while I tried not to drool. I mean who doesn’t love wine?
We checked out 3 different wineries in one day, it was such a fun way to just “wine down” and not be driving all day.
Here are the 3 wineries that we went to and would recommend checking them out.
Fantastic views, great wine and a great host. Take your time here, since it’s the most beautiful vineyard I have ever seen.
Cute little chic place with great decor and delicious wine. This was more restaurant style, so it was enjoyable having a table to ourselves by the fireplace and treating it like a little date night. It also seemed like they had some munchies.
Sketchy, but beautiful driveway. Literally driving on one of the big mountains with no railings. Perfect view of one of the AJ Hackett’s Bungee Jumps. The winery was stunning! Looks like a building from Italy. Great wine of course.
Driving up to Mount Cook is just beautiful.There is only one way in and out of the park. State highway 80 and it also happens to be one of the most scenic roads on the South Island! Blue gatorade water and mountains just surrounding you.
At 12,218 feet, Mount Cook is New Zealand’s tallest mountain!
There are so many different treks to do here. Spend the day to get up close and personal with all the mountain. Don’t forget to pack the proper hiking gear, snacks, water, etc.
This is a MUST!
The Fiordland National Park is one of the most breathtaking parts of New Zealand and one of the best ways to see it, is by boat. It roughly came to $160/CAD all together for two people, but it’s totally worth it.
This area is home to so many waterfalls big and small, tall mountains that are covered in blankets of snow, and clear still water. At the end you hit the Tasman Sea and our captain said that it was the 2nd most treacherous body of water in the world! Luckily for us it was just a bit bumpy for a few minutes as we turned around. Don’t forget to take motion sickness pills before hand! Also, make sure you dress according to the weather, as it can get really cold up on the deck.
In the centre of the South Island of New Zealand lies Lake Tekapo. I swear you won’t be able to stop saying “WOW”! Tekapo is an oasis of bright blue skies, sparkling blue water with lots of magic! It’s the kind of place that you will want to visit again.
Check out the Church of the Good Shepherd. It was busy during the day, so work on your photoshopping skills because everyone wants to get the same photo as you! Check the church at night, the stars are magical here due to the dark sky reserve.
Mount John Observatory/ Stargaze
This place will leave you breathless, because of the brilliantly blue lake and rolling hills and mountains that meet your eyes! Entrance costs you $8CAD/car to drive on the road, the road is tiny and curvy, but you are overlooking the world!
When you get to the top, it’s magical, they even have a cute little coffee shop up there with the best views, no wifi so just put down your phone and look outside 🙂
Stargazing in Lake Tekapo should be on your list, it’s literally one of the best places in the world for stargazing. Don’t make the mistake we made, by not doing it. Take a tour at night to get a hands-on experience of using telescopes!
Visit A Small Town
While driving in New Zealand you pass a ton of small towns along the journey. Arrowtown was a place I found online, we checked it out and it was just like the pictures! It looks like it’s straight out from an old Western movie! Adorable place to check out if you pass by.
Arrowtown is located on the banks of the Arrow River approximately 7.5 km from State Highway 6. There is also road access directly to Queenstown.
Located in Wanaka. This intense hike took us 5.5 hours all together. I’m telling you as someone who is fit, it was even brutal for me at times. The track has a constant incline, which leaves you breathless.
The views were totally worth it in the end, but I recommend doing it early morning. We started at 4:30 am, and got back down around 10:00 am. We stopped for snacks and water along the way. We brought our own water and munchies, there are no shops on the hike, so pack smart!
As we walked down it got pretty busy with people walking up. Keep in mind it was pretty brutal walking down as well, lots of strain on my knees and quads, so take it easy, it’s not a race!
Be prepared for any type of weather! It got really hot during the hike, but once we hit the top it was freezing and very windy.
The hike was worth every second. Going early morning was so peaceful and the moon was so bright, we didn’t even need a flashlight. We also saw a shooting star, which was pretty magical.