10 Best Instagram Spots in New Zealand, South Islands + 2 Week Quick Itinerary

10 Best Instagram Spots in New Zealand, South Islands

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.
Best Queenstown Instagram spots are enroute the drive!

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.

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  1. New Zealand is beautiful. I ave heard a lot from people who have gone there and those who are living there. All the spots that you have captured are beautiful.


  2. Wow all these visiting spots from new zealand are sounds so amazing. I really like the way you always provide in depth information in your travel posts. this post was again so informative. and lovely clicks too.


  3. New Zealand is a country that wasn’t on my travel bucket list However going through your post was very fascinating. I truly enjoyed the places you covered. Each picture was so beautiful


  4. New Zealand is my husbands fav place to be at and we so want to plan a trip there. I know it’s a very scenic and beautiful place to be and your pics and description just add to that confirmation.


  5. These are some of the prettiest places that you have listed in this post. I would love to visit Franz Joseph and be in TranzAlpine Train.


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