• The Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide: South Island

     The Ultimate Travel Guide to New Zealand: The South Island, was compiled by Samantha Stevens and Carson Wall.


    New Zealand is perfect if you’re looking for a amazing adventure in a country that not only speaks english, but is also extremely safe. The stunning landscapes and friendly locals are closer than you think. Wake up in a new place with new adventure everyday. New Zealand is the perfect place to explore the outdoors with a range from coastal beauty to towering mountains and year-round glaciers.

    Tips for Travelling in New Zealand

    Currency: The New Zealand Dollar

    Language: English

    Safety: Very safe

    Internet, Phone, and Electricity: If you're looking to stay connected to the internet and phone services everywhere you go, it’s recommended that you purchase a plan from one of New Zealand’s main networks, depending on your time attending the country. Note that mobile coverage is not available in some rural and wilderness areas. Free WiFi hotspots are generally found in main cities only and can be sporadic throughout the rest of the country. New Zealand's electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts, and we use angled two or three pin plugs (the same as Australia and parts of Asia). Be sure to buy converters before you come!

    Accommodations: From wilderness campsites to luxury lodges, use our accommodation finder to find places to stay anywhere in New Zealand.

    Visas: If you’re a United States citizen, there is no visa requirement to enter the country if you are staying less than three months on your vacation.


    The best way to get around in New Zealand is by renting a car. Within the bigger cities, there is public transportation, but it isn’t unanimous throughout the Island, or on both islands. Your best bet is to rent a car to go to all of the places listed below, that are more off the beaten path. You can also rent a camper van if you’re planning on camping out wherever you go! Just be sure to remember that you drive on the other side of the road!

    Domestic Flights: It is easy to get from city to city and inter island with domestic flights that are no longer that two hours to and from any location. The best budget flights we found was on Jetstar.

    Common Grocery Stores: New World, Countdown, and Pak n' Save

    New world is a great grocery store in terms of quality and selection followed by countdown (a little cheaper, but a little less fancy) and finally pak n save (think of it like a costco).

    Helpful Booking Sites:

    Booking.com, Hostelworld, and Airbnb are great for finding hostels and cheap accomodations across both islands.

    Rental Cars Online New Zealand is a great resource for cheap rental cars to get away. We found that Go Rentals and Ezi Rentals were the best quality, easiest, and most trusted for the cheapest overall price. You only need to be 21+ to rent cars in New Zealand.

    Start Exploring

    This complete travel guide to the South Island includes a detailed list of places to see, where to eat and stay, and activities to do in each area. Everything you see on this travel guide have been gathered from my boyfriend and my own travels in New Zealand over this past Fall. I spent a little over three months in the country, while he was there for a little over four. We hope you find this information useful. The travel guide goes into detail in the following places:

    1. Christchurch
    2. Kaikoura
    3. Nelson
    4. Punakaiki
    5. Wanaka
    6. Queenstown
    7. Lake Tekapo
    8. Fiordlands and Milford Sound
    9. Arthur's Pass
    10. Mount Cook
    11. Akaroa
    12. Hanmer Springs
    13. Oamaru and Moeraki

    You can download the complete travel guide here. Please let us know what you think by commenting below! We thoroughly enjoyed our time here, and we hope you will too.

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