It’s an amazing place. There’s a deep valley under the ocean there so there’s an upswelling of nutrients and the place is just going crazy offshore. You’ve got dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales feeding on squid down in the Kaikoura Canyon so you can see just about every kind of marine life in there.
Take a scenic flight across Fiordland, one of the most dramatic and beautiful regions of the South Island. The views of Fiordland from the air are just breathtaking. There are spectacular mountains and waterfalls absolutely everywhere but especially around places like Milford Sound.
3 – Abel Tasman
It’s not difficult to find great hikes in Abel Tasman National Park. You can kayak in the ocean before you start your hike in the forest. You can do both in one day because everything is fairly close together.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, jet-boat around Queenstown – there are so many variations available to choose from. I think adventure is in the genes of this country. The jet-boat was invented here and every personal watercraft, every jet ski in the world, is all derived from the DNA of that.
Rent a car and just start driving around Christchurch. It’s amazing and if you drive in October, everything is in bloom, all the wild flowers are on the hills and there’s so much colour. The locals are also just so easy to talk to. The people in Christchurch are so helpful and will take the time to give you directions and will start conversations with you about where you’re from.
MORE TO DISCOVER
Get a bird's-eye view of the whales and dolphins with Kaikoura Helicopters. Visit worldofwhales.co.nz
Experience a real insight into Māori culture with a private tour. Visit maoritours.co.nz
Cruise the Marlborough Sounds aboard the three-cabin charter, MV Tarquin, accompanied by a private crew and chef. Visit tarquincruises.co.nz
Enjoy a private tasting with a member of Cloudy Bay's winemaking team at The Shack, the winery's on-site guesthouse – with back vintages available on request. Visit cloudybay.co.nz
The Tricolour still flies above the quaint French-founded fishing port of Akaroa, where you can cruise out through the heads to catch a glimpse of the world's rarest dolphins with Sidney the dolphin-spotting dog. Visit akaroadolphins.co.nz
On the far side of the peninsula, Annandale Lodge's four distinctive properties provide private retreats nested between the rolling hills and brilliant blue waters of the Pacific. Visit annandale.com