10 Incredibly Picturesque New zealand Instagram spots, South Islands, Must Visit Attractions in New Zealand & more!
South New Zealand is breathtaking, so postcard worthy, offering atleast 50 to 100 must-visit attractions. This picturesque part of planet has so much to offer that you’ll never be able to pack in everything in 2 weeks. But if you are someone like us then you’d want to fit in as many as you can. From glaciers to fjords, here are 10 most beautiful places to visit in New Zealand that you definitely dont want to miss.
Quick 2-week itinerary to see all of 10 most famous spots in New Zealand, South Islands that we suggest
Day 1: TranzAlpine train Christchurch
Day 1: Aurthur’s Pass & GrayMouth
Day 2 : Fox Glacier village
Day 3: Fox Glacier snow – glacier helipcopters
Day 4 – 8: Franz Joseph
Day 5: Lake Matheson – National Park Day
Day 6 -9: Road Trip route to Queenstown & around Queenstown
Day 10: Puzzling World Wanaka,
Day 11-12: Te Anau, Lake Te Anau,
Day 13: Milford Sound Fjord
Tips for New Zealand Travel
New Zealand is gorgeous. Here are some tips that’ll make your New Zealand trip epic.
- Book EARLY, you want to grab the best hotel stay your money can buy
- Yes, bungee was invented here, on Kawarau bridge. Go for it!
- Fill up your gas at Greymouth, there are fewer gas stations enroute to Queenstown
- Be in NO rush to arrive at your destination. Take pit stops or roll a picnic mat for impromptu picnics by the stream, in the foothills or green meadows. Its totally worth taking a detours for vineyards, in South Island.
Top 10 Best Instagram Spots in New Zealand, South Islands
1. TranzAlpine train, Christchurch
From open air viewing carriages to complimentary tour guide’s audio commentary by the driver of the train, the TranzAlpine inland train journey is guaranteed to take your breath away. Chugging over a gaping 72-metre high Staircase Viaduct and several others, you will witness many mesmerizing vistas seated comfortably in your train carriage. Miles of NZ farming, an uninterrupted view of the Southern Alps rising from the plains like megalithic skyscrapers and a ride along the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River are some of the attractions along this route.
2. Aurthur’s Pass
The TranzAlpine is one of the world’s great train journeys covering 223 kilometres one-way, in just 5 hours. Hailed as one of the greatest train journeys in the world, the Arthur’s Pass is considered a masterpiece of railway engineering involving viaducts, bridges, rock shelters and waterfalls redirected into chutes. It is the section for which the TranzAlpine is most famed. The train halts here for 10 mins, allowing you to get off and take in the sights from the platform.
3. Fox Glacier village
The tiny village of Fox Glacier sits beautifully in the foothills of Southern Alps offering breathtaking views of New Zealand’s highest peaks Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. A total of 260 people live here! But be ready to be NOT surprised if you see private planes parked in the backyard.
4. Fox Glacier snow – glacier helipcopters
This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to explore a glacier from up close and personal. Moving at approx. a metre a week, Fox Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. You can follow the snow trail solo or preferably with a tour guide. Alternatively you can book a 30 min scenic helicopter ride which explores the awe inspiring ice falls of the Fox Glacier.
5. Franz Joseph
Fed by 20 Sq Km of snowfield, Franz Joseph is just a km shorter than the Fox Glacier. If you are planning a helicopter ride, you have the option to book one that takes you to both the glaciers, ofcourse at an additional cost. The flight includes snow landing, make sure you hop off the helicopter and jump into the snow. This was my personal favorite experience to really take in the vastness of the glacier and to breathe in pure alpine air.
6. Lake Matheson – National Park
A walk around this NZ’s most photographed lake is a must-do attraction when in this part of the world. Celebrated for its truly stunning reflected views of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, this famous reflective lake is a photographer’s dream. There are many vantage points along the 1.5 hour trail round this lake. The Matheson café is a good place to sit and take in the beautiful views of the snow clad mountain peaks at your own pace.
7. Drive route to Queenstown
Having seen so much, you may now feel that it couldn’t possibly get better. But the road trip from Fox Glacier to Queenstown will absolutely blow your mind away. Get behind the wheels and be ready to drive 400 km along one of the most spectacular stretches of road you have come across ever. Make sure to fill your tank to full capacity as there are few gas stations along this route.
8. Puzzling World Wanaka
The huge “Fire Danger Today” warning clock right at the entry point to Wanaka tells you that this place may be prone to frequent fires. Hence there is a complete ban on fire at Wanaka. Flanked by the pristine turquoise waters of Lake Wanaka one side and an abundance of mustard yellow trees all along the road, you will fall in love with this place at once. The Lone tree growing solo in the lake is probably the most photographed tree in NZ. The Puzzling World park here is a wonderful place to fool around with weirdness – optical illusions, table puzzles & multi-level outdoor size maze.
9. Te Anau, Lake Te Anau
Popularly known as the ‘Gateway to Fjordland’, picturesque Te Anau is the main visitor base to explore the wilderness that has been carved out by glaciers over thousands of years. With spectacular Mt Luxmore and the Murchison mountains as its backdrop, Te Anau is nestled on the edge of Lake Te Anau, the second largest lake in NZ. This town is also famed for fine dining and is a great opportunity to sample the locals Fjordland food.
10. Milford Sound Fjord
A MUST-have on every itinerary, Fjords of Milford Sounds are the most awe-inspiring natural attractions in NZ. Deep, narrow and elongated sea with steep land on 3 sides, these geographical formations are thus undersea valleys carved out by giant glaciers over several ice-age that have shaped the landscape. With its magical combination of mountain peaks, ink-dark waters and superb dramatic forest-clad cliffs, you have to see it to believe it.
Would you like to know more about planning your trip to New Zealand? Would you like to know about the New Zealand North Island itinerary? OR what’s your favorite experience from New Zealand? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Are you planning a trip in India?
We have TONS of resources on travel in India and destinations throughout the country. Check out our Ultimate India Bucketlist Guide for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.
- Lockdown Road Trip Ideas
- How I Went on a Road Trip While Maintaining Social Distancing
- Road Trip Essentials Checklist
- 14 Best Road Trips From Mumbai, Delhi, other Big Cities in India
- Why You MUST Experience Braj Ki Holi