The South Island of New Zealand is the largest of the islands, but it is the least populated. The South Island is home to only 23% of the 4.4 million population of New Zealand but covers 150,437 square metres, which makes the South Island 33% larger than the North Island in landmass.
Arguably New Zealand’s most popular destination, Queenstown is nicknamed the 'Tourist Capital of the World'. Queenstown, and the region has a fantastic ski and snowboard season from June to early October. If you love to get the adrenaline pumping, enjoy the great outdoors, play golf, bike rides, nature walks, sailing and fishing, you will love beautiful Queenstown.
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island, affectionately known as the 'Garden City'. It's a vibrant, cosmopolitan place with exciting festivals, theatre, modern art galleries, great shopping and award-winning attractions. Although some parts of Christchurch are still closed due to earthquake damage, most areas around Christchurch are operating as normal, and tourism businesses are open.
Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the Otago Region. Steeped in history and culture, it is a great city to visit. Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere and home to some amazing museums and art galleries. Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin wears its Scottish heritage with pride.
Kaikoura can be found about halfway between Christchurch and Picton on the east coast of the South Island, and getting there in your RaD Car Hire rental car provides a road trip with a real difference. The stunning coastal alpine scenery includes all sorts of eco-tourism activities like whale watching, swimming with dolphins, and visiting the seal and bird colonies along the coast.
The Southern Alps are magnificent with numerous walking tracks through spectacular National Parks where you can experience four seasons in one day. Try out the ski fields, glacier climbing, sea kayaking, or nature walks. Exploring this great wilderness will be an experience you’ll never forget.
Other places of interest are the rugged West Coast, historical Arrowtown, picturesque Wanaka, the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, sunny Nelson, and Fiordland which showcases some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscapes in New Zealand.
With your RaD Car Hire car you are free to discover the amazing scenery and exciting activities that make the South Island unforgettable and a true adventure capital.