While 2020 has stopped us from looking further afield in search of epic adventures, it has given us the chance to enjoy and explore our own backyard.
You may have to sacrifice your tropical Island honeymoon, but you will find some amazing hidden gems, right here in the South Island!
1. Mount Cook
It is often talked about as a key tourist destination and we disregard it from our ‘must visit’ lists because there is not much to do there right?
Wrong! Mount Cook is the ultimate destination to spend a couple of night on a road trip.
The drive in is jaw dropping and with multiple day hikes that take you to stunning lookouts, you will wonder how you have never been here before.
Hooker Valley Walk
3 hrs. return
4 hrs. return (prepare to climb 2000 step on the way up!)
Take a helicopter to the Tasman Glacier
45 mins including landing
Cost: $250 (Check for seasonal discounts/specials)
Easy to miss the Clay Cliffs are just outside of the tiny town of Omarama. Follow the signs off the main road and you will be taken through farmland on a gravel road until you reach the car park.
Take a wander into the clay cliffs and enjoy!
Cost: $10 cash (leave in honesty box by front gate)
Ahh little Wanaka has always been one of my favourite places to explore.
If you are keen to hike check out
Immensely popular and iconic. Try and do this hike for sunrise to avoid the heat of the day as there is no shelter on this walk at all!
Epic views and quite an easy climb.
Rob Roy Glacier
You need a 4 - wheel drive to get here because of the fords, but the hour - long drive from town is beautiful and there are heaps of bridges, waterfalls, and spots by the river to stop.
The hike to the Glacier is extremely popular but once you get to the top you will understand why!
Wanaka Lavender Farm
Cost: $10 entry per person
Lavender comes out in the summer between Dec – Feb. Check out the lavender ice cream & lavender tea too!
The Blue Pools
A 1.5hr drive from Wanaka town center. A 5-minute walk through the bush will lead you to this magical swimming spot. It is super cold but on a summer’s day, very refreshing!
Ready for a little adventure? Here are a few activities to check out in Queenstown!
Onsen Hot Pools
Cost: $140 per couple
Pricy but so worth it for a soak in these private tubs, nestled above the Arrow River.
Night - time sessions have lanterns and a view out to the milky way!
Heli Flight to the Remarkables or Cecil Peak
A short Heli flight will take you to some of the most spectacular viewpoints above Queenstown! You might even get lucky and have a fresh snow dump.
Enjoy sunset up Coronet Peak
Coronet Peak has a sealed road all the way up to the ski field. It has epic views looking down towards the mountains. On a nice evening, the sunset is just magical.
Wine Tasting & a Meal in Gibbston Valley
Cost: $100ish for 2 people
Check out some of the Beautiful wineries and enjoy a lunch outside by the fire at Kinross. They have wine to match their food and a big outdoor area to relax in.
5. The Catlin’s
This coast road that winds down through Southland will take you past some wild and rugged spots that are well worth checking out!
Follow the signs that feel like they are leading to nowhere, and you eventually reach the Bay. This is a popular surfing spot where you can see seals & sealions!
A 5-minute walk through the bush will take you down to these rushing falls. The evening light coming through the forest is stunning.
Check out when low tide is, as the caves are only open seasonally at low tide. A 15-minute walk through native bush will take you down to the beach and into these mega caves.
A 15-minute walk will get you to the base of these beautiful falls.
If you are feeling hungry then stop off at the Whistling Frog for coffee and a snack!
Enjoy this post? Check out some more here: