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The South Island of New Zealand is renowned for its natural beauty, with some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. From beautiful beaches to breathtaking mountain ranges, there are so many incredible places to explore on the South Island. If you’re planning a trip to this picturesque part of the world, here are 25 must-see places to add to your itinerary.

1. Abel Tasman National Park – This coastal paradise is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, as well as stunning hiking trails and opportunities for kayaking and wildlife spotting.

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2. Fiordland National Park – With its dramatic fjords, towering mountains, and pristine rainforest, Fiordland National Park is a true wilderness paradise.

3. Milford Sound – This iconic fjord is a must-see for any visitor to the South Island, with its dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and abundant wildlife.

4. Mount Cook National Park – Home to New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook National Park offers some of the most spectacular alpine scenery in the country.

5. Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers – These impressive glaciers are some of the most accessible in the world, offering the chance to hike or take a scenic helicopter flight over the ice.

6. Queenstown – Known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown offers a wide range of thrilling activities, as well as breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.

7. Wanaka – With its picturesque lake and stunning mountain backdrop, Wanaka is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

8. Marlborough Sounds – This network of sunken river valleys is a paradise for boating, kayaking, and wildlife spotting, with its sheltered coves and crystal-clear waters.

9. Christchurch – This vibrant city is known for its beautiful gardens, historic buildings, and vibrant arts scene, as well as its proximity to the stunning Canterbury region.

10. Kaikoura – This charming coastal town is famous for its marine wildlife, including resident sperm whales, dolphins, seals, and albatross.

11. Punakaiki – Home to the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, Punakaiki is a unique geological wonder on the South Island’s West Coast.

12. Nelson – This sunny city is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including beautiful beaches, lush forests, and the nearby Abel Tasman National Park.

13. The Catlins – This remote and rugged region is home to dramatic coastal cliffs, beautiful beaches, and an abundance of wildlife, including sea lions, penguins, and dolphins.

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14. Stewart Island – New Zealand’s third-largest island is a nature lover’s paradise, with rugged coastline, dense forests, and the chance to spot rare bird species.

15. Aoraki Dark Sky Reserve – This designated dark sky reserve offers some of the best stargazing opportunities in the world, with minimal light pollution and clear, dark skies.

16. The Southern Alps – This majestic mountain range is a paradise for hikers, skiers, and mountaineers, with its towering peaks, alpine meadows, and pristine glacial lakes.

17. Lake Tekapo – Known for its stunning turquoise waters and breathtaking mountain backdrop, Lake Tekapo is a popular destination for stargazing, hot springs, and outdoor adventure.

18. Hanmer Springs – This charming alpine village is home to natural hot springs, as well as opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities.

19. The West Coast Wilderness Trail – This popular cycling trail offers the chance to explore the stunning landscapes of the West Coast, from lush rainforest to rugged coastline.

20. The Otago Rail Trail – This famous cycling trail takes riders through the heart of the Otago region, passing through historic gold rush towns and stunning mountain scenery.

21. The Moeraki Boulders – These mysterious spherical boulders are a unique natural wonder on the South Island’s East Coast, with their strange and otherworldly appearance.

22. Lake Wanaka Tree – This iconic willow tree, standing alone in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wanaka, is a popular photography spot and a symbol of the region’s natural beauty.

23. The Southern Scenic Route – This scenic driving route takes travelers through some of the most beautiful landscapes on the South Island, from coastal cliffs to dense rainforest and rugged mountains.

24. The TranzAlpine Railway – This famous train journey takes passengers across the Southern Alps, offering stunning views of the alpine scenery and the chance to explore the charming town of Greymouth.

25. The Mackenzie Country – This beautiful and remote region is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in New Zealand, including the stunning Lake Pukaki and the nearby Mount Cook National Park.

As you can see, the South Island of New Zealand is a paradise for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in hiking, wildlife spotting, photography, or simply soaking up the incredible scenery, there are so many amazing places to explore on the South Island. Make sure to add some of these must-see destinations to your travel itinerary for an unforgettable New Zealand experience.

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