South island is larger, wilder and more adrenaline fuelled than North Island, yet at the same time less urbanised and more laid back with cooler weather and fewer people. Hogging the majority of New Zealand’s biggest lakes, most impressive glaciers and tallest peaks, this is the New Zealand of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, where fantastic fjords and iced vistas are far more spellbinding in real life. With the spine of the Southern Alps dissecting the island, small towns and cities sit alongside world- class wine regions in the warmer, drier east, whereas the island’s luxurious national parks are found in the west. The birthplace of bungee jumping, Queenstown is the high-octane capital for white-water rafting, canoeing, climbing and every other adventure sport you can think of. Snow sports are big business in winter and, if urban life still beckons, Christchurch – New Zealand’s second largest city – will deliver.


GMT: +13 hours
FLIGHT TIME: Approximately 27 hours
CURRENCY: New Zealand Dollar
CLIMATE: New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. Its climate is dominated by two main geographical features: the mountains and the sea. Largely temperate, the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10 C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine.


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