The Incredible South Island of New Zealand

Last October I was fortunate enough to have the chance to visit the south island of New Zealand. The Moari, New Zealand’s native population, named the country Aotearoa – land of the long white cloud. The 270,000 square mile country is populated by nearly 4.5 million people, majorly of European descent. More information on the country’s statistics can be found on the New Zealand Government Webpage.

Though the north island contains the Capitol and the majority of the population, there are plenty of tourist activities to do on the south island.

  •    Christchurch is where the international airport is located; this city consists of nearly every activity you could imagine for a tourist town – anything from surfing to taking a tour around the glaciers. Even after the 2011 earthquake caused damages currently under reconstruction, the famous Christchurch Cathedral is a must see! The city is rich with history – details can be found at the city’s website.

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  •     Queenstown is visited by 1.9 million tourists annually. A cannot miss activity is the Milford Sound tour – the scenery is amazing and tours stop at locations used for popular films. On this tour we rode a bus to a fjord where we enjoyed a boat ride, delighted in the magical view of the mountains, and were mesmerized by the hundreds of waterfalls as well as witnessing seals sunbathing and dolphins playing on the boat surf.

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Th city of Queenstown has many other brilliant activities such as gondola and luge rides, street markets, shops, and demonstrations of a Kiwi Haka celebration. We also savored a delicious meal at the top of a mountain above the city during sunset. You can find many more amazing activities through the Queenstown page.

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If you ever find yourself in that area of the world, New Zealand is a must!

Courtney Gettel

Bison Run ALA