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Best Hotels in South Island
Kinloch Lodge 19 rooms from $21Glenorchy, Otago
Range of accommodation at the north end of Lake Wakatipu, from shared dorms to delightful double ensuites. Communal kitchen, restaurant, outdoor hot tub and stunning lake and mountain views. Fabulous watersports and a great base for Routeburn, Greenstone, Caples and Rees and Dart walking tracks.Great walks - Routeburn, Greenstone, Caples and Rees and Dart tracksOutstanding location - 5 mins boat ride to Glenorchy townViews - Lake and mountain viewsBack to Nature
Melbourne Lodge 34 rooms from $88Queenstown
A range of rooms, suites and apartments to suit varying budgets in the centre of Queenstown. Clean, modern, friendly and functional, with free breakfast. A superb base for a winter stay with a choice of ski areas, not forgetting the winter festival, pure mountain mayhem! Ideal for larger groups.
Chateau Marlborough 45 rooms from $108Blenheim, Marlborough
Luxury hotel in central Blenheim with bright, contemporary and chic rooms all featuring separate kitchenettes. Larger suites have full kitchen and laundry facilities. Glorious outdoor swimming pool with fun bar, restaurant and views over Seymour Square gardens.Sights nearby - 2 minutes walk from the centre of BlenheimSwimming Pool - Heated outdoor pool with poolside barGreat walks - Queen Charlotte TrailLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Fodors
Botanica B&B 2 rooms from $113Blenheim, Marlborough
Boutique B&B in Blenheim town, the heart of Marlborough wine region. Two suites set around award-winning garden with comfy beds, fun décor and laundry facilities. Free transfers to airport, bus and train stations. Delicious local and organic breakfast included.Great walks - Queen Charlottle TrackSights nearby - Omaka Aviation MuseumSailing - Can be booked nearby.Hideaway - Tranquil and intimate.
Glendeer B&B Lodge 3 rooms from $113Timaru
Run by Glendeer Fly Fishing Guides, this lodge has three ensuite rooms with underfloor heating, unlimited wifi and continental breakfast included in the stay. Use of fully equipped kitchen. Centrally located close to over 30 rivers and streams, making it ideal for the avid angler.Fishing - Centrally located to over 30 rivers and streamsRemote - Off the beaten track.Great walks - Good for walkers.Back to Nature
Finlay Banks Boutique Bed and Breakfast 2 rooms from $116Christchurch (Burwood)
A charming and colourful family run boutique B&B run with two ensuite rooms. A lovely outdoor patio in the rose garden, generous breakfasts and nice touches like chocolates in rooms. Ten minute drive to Christchurch city centre.Restrictions on children - Not allowedFishing - Excellent fishing nearby.Great walks - Good for walkers.Hideaway - Tranquil and intimate.
The Portage Resort 41 rooms from $116Marlborough
Range of accommodation options to suit varying budgets. Rooms modern, bright and some have private balconies. Great views to Kenepuru Sound. With an outdoor swimming pool, spa, gardens and restaurant specialising in seafood. Family friendly.Views - Views of Kenepuru SoundGreat walks - Queen Charlotte TrackSailing - On Kenepuru SoundSpa
Cathedral Inn 7 rooms from $118Nelson
19th century mansion turned B&B in the centre of Nelson. Rooms are individually decorated in traditional style. Large tree-filled garden with outdoor seating areas. Within walking distance of cathedral, restaurants and galleries. Close to Abel Tasman National Park for great walks and birdwatching.Sights nearby - Right beside Christ Church Cathedral.Restrictions on children - Must be 12 or overLocal markets - Good for local colour.Birdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.
Hotel D'Urville 11 rooms from $122Marlborough
1920s art deco style boutique hotel in Blenheim with 11 stylish and unique rooms, each with individual themes from classic to retro. Four poster beds, original art works and free wifi. Great restaurant and cocktail bar. An ideal base for exploring the Marlborough wineries.Great walks - Good for walkers.Local markets - Good for local colour.Four poster beds - For romantics.Recommended by - Fodors
Sennen House 3 rooms from $135Marlborough
Historic homestead built in 1886 now boutique accommodation in Picton. Large four poster beds, original NZ artworks and elegant furnishings. Formal gardens and Queen Elizabeth II National Trust protected native forest to the rear. Walking distance to restaurants and Queen Charlotte Track.Views - Views across the grounds to Picton, Victoria Domain and the hillsSights nearby - Great base for exploring the Marlborough regionGreat walks - Queen Charlotte TrackBack to Nature
Raetihi Lodge 14 rooms from $136Marlborough
Luxury lodge on Kenepuru Sound in the Marlborough region. Rooms are chic, modern and comfortable with sea, garden and hill views. Waterfront restaurant, free fishing rods and kayaks for exploring the sounds. Close to golf course, Queen Charlotte Track and wineries. For a relaxing country escape.Kayaking - Two double and three single kayaks are available for guests to borrowGreat walks - On either the Queen Charlotte or Nydia TracksFishing - Complimentary fishing rods to borrow.Views - Sea, garden and hill views
Rimu Lodge 4 rooms from $137West Coast
Eco-lodge overlooking Hokitika River with four boutique, clean and spacious suites. Owner-managed and committed to sustainable practices including recycling and composting. Close to Hokitika town and the west coast’s only white heron breeding colony.Birdwatching - Westland district is only white heron breeding colony on west coastViews - River and mountain viewsGreat walks - Lake and beach walksFishing - Hokitika River
The Grange Boutique B&B and Motel 6 rooms from $146Christchurch
A range of rooms and studios available in a family owned and run establishment. B&B section in 1874 heritage grade-II listed Victorian mansion, Motel in newer building. Rooms are large, spacious and tasteful. Close to centre of Christchurch and sights such as Botanic Gardens.Sights nearby - Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park, Christchurch casino
Queenstown House 10 rooms from $146Queenstown
Luxury apartments and B&B overlooking Lake Wakatipu to the distant Southern Alps. With stone clad fireplaces, local NZ art on wall, comfy double beds and private outdoor decks. An ideal base for exploring region, including skiing in Coronet Peak or The Remarkables (June to October) and hotsprings.Views - Overlooking Lake Wakatipu and to Southern AlpsGreat walks - In Fiordland national parks
Marlborough B&B 2 rooms from $147Blenheim, Marlborough
Friendly, comfortable, clean, spacious and charming boutique B&B in Marlborough wine country. Contained cottage also available with kitchen facilities. On seven acres with walnut grove, free range chickens and cattle. Fresh daily breakfast.Birdwatching - Local birdlife - pukeko, tui, ducks, herons, pheasants, fantails, bellbirds, magpies and moreporkLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.
Antares Homestay from $149Marlborough
Two self-contained accommodation options, each with a kitchen, living area and two bedrooms. In the famous Marlborough wine region and close to Wairau River for great fishing and birdwatching. Friendly hosts, private, peaceful and good value.Sights nearby - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, Marlborough MuseumViews - Over vineyards to Wither Hills and Richmond RangesBirdwatching - Rare black-fronted tern and black-billed gullOutstanding location - Close to braided Wairau River
Peppers Awaroa Lodge 26 rooms from $153South Island
Luxury eco-lodge in Abel Tasman National Park. Chic, contemporary interiors complement retro style furnishings. Rooms & suites all have sit out decking areas with great views over native bush, wetlands and an organic kitchen garden. Great framily friendly base for birdwatching and walking.Remote - No direct road access. Only accessible only accessible by foot, sea kayak, water taxi or airBirdwatching - Species include paradise duck, pukeko, tui, bellbird, dotterel, ternViews - Over wetlands and native bushGreat walks - Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Millbrook Resort 170 rooms from $163Queenstown
A range of self catering cottages and suites situated on the 500 acre Millbrook Resort with a 27 hole golf course. Decor is contemporary, modern and slick. Cottages come with private verandas and dining areas. Also has a spa, indoor swimming pool and choice of four restaurants.Sights nearby - 20 minute drive from QueenstownOutstanding location - Set on 500 acre golf resortSecluded setting - For escaping.Views - Great views from hotel
McCormick House 6 rooms from $173Picton, Marlborough
Charming boutique B&B just outside Picton. Individually designed rooms feature luxury linens & handcrafted furniture. Lush half acre gardens. Ideal for a peaceful break, but equally a great base for enjoying all the activities on offer in the Marlborough Sounds.Quirky - Individual features in each roomGreat walks - Queen Charlotte TrackSailing - Can be booked nearby.Back to Nature
Pine Hill Lodge 3 rooms from $176Tasman
Set amongst an orchard, olive groves and walnut trees, this lodge has three boutique rooms with comfy beds, an outdoor hot tub and views out to the property's winery - Pine Hill Serenity Vineyard. Close to Tasman Great Taste Trail. Great for a country escape.Local markets - Nelson Market on SundaysSwimming Pool - Outdoor spa poolFishing - TroutRestrictions on children
Theloft@Hiddenhills 1 rooms from $176Wanaka
Friendly boutique B&B on Lake Wanaka. One suite separate from main house, with dining room, living area and outdoor deck. Delicious breakfasts, comfy beds. Bicycles and fishing rods available for use, as well as parking space for a boat. Stunning mountain views, you won't want to leave.Great walks - Wanaka Outlet walk and cycle tracks along Clutha River 1km awayFishing - Free fishing rod hireRestrictions on childrenHideaway - Tranquil and intimate.
The Arrow Private Hotel 5 rooms from $178Queenstown (Arrowtown)
Set in the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown, this boutique hotel offers five luxury suites designed to be in harmony with the alpine surroundings. With local NZ art, king-sized beds and panoramic views. Twenty minutes from Coronet ski field, with ski storage facilities. A peaceful place.Views - AlpineGreat walks - Good for walkers.Back to Nature
The Classic Villa 12 rooms from $184Christchurch Arts Centre
Boutique B&B in bright pink Italian style villa in Canterbury. Rooms with top amenities and nice views. Delicious Mediterranean style breakfast with fresh tropical fruits and local produce. Eco-friendly and close to sights such as Botanic Gardens.Quirky - Bright pink in colourRestrictions on children - Must be 12 and overRecommended by - Fodors
Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel 19 rooms from $190Queenstown
Luxurious boutique hotel in Queenstown with under-floor heating, New Zealand made and designed furniture and glass walled bathroms. Great alpine views, close to town centre and committed to eco-friendly practices.Views - To alpine GondolaGreat walks - Good for walkers.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.5* Luxury - Very high service standards.
The Waters 3 rooms from $193Tasman
Boutique B&B overlooking Tasman Bay at top of South Island. Three modern, clean and comfy suites with terraces offering great sea and mountain views. With a spa pool and sauna. Great walks on next door Windhover Estate.Outstanding location - Set on edge of Windhover Estate, 10 hectares of olives and vinesViews - Overlooking Tasman Bay and to Mt ArthurSwimming Pool - Spa poolLocal markets - Good for local colour.
Stoneleigh Lodge from $196Christchurch (Ohoka)
Two suites in a luxury lodge set in 20 acres of landscaped grounds with three lakes and a working alpaca farm. Rooms, large and light with modern amenities. Use of an indoor heated pool during winter, and close to wineries, skiing and whale spotting destination. Ideal for an action packed holiday.Swimming Pool - Heated indoor poolGreat walks - Good for walkers.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.
A Culinary Experience 2 rooms from $208Nelson (Atawhai)
Boutique B&B outside Nelson with two large, light and luxurious suites adorned with original art. Hot tub, private wine cellar, private verandas and large garden to relax in. Gourmet breakfast, cooking classes and wine tours available. Close to beaches and great walks in Abel Tasman National Park.Views - The patios and decks have stunning viewsLocal markets - Nelson holds a market every SaturdaySailing - Can be booked nearby.Cooking classes - Check for timings.
Wakefield Quay House 2 rooms from $208Nelson
Luxury B&B in 1905 historic villa on Nelson's waterfront with glorious views over Tasman Bay. Two tasteful, elegant and spacious ensuite rooms with antiques and original artworks. Close to Abel Tasman National Park, wineries and within walking distance of restaurants. Great for a weekend break.Views - Overlooking Tasman Bay and Nelson's Harbour entranceGreat walks - Abel Tasman Coastal TrackSailing - Can be booked nearby.Local markets - Good for local colour.
Clearview Lodge 3 rooms from $211Christchurch (Harewood)
Luxury lodge with three tasteful and spacious suites just 15 minutes from Christchurch city centre. Set on 10 acres of vines, olive groves and orchards in a peaceful setting. Array of wild birds in garden and glorious outdoor seating area by pool.Birdwatching - Seasonal visitors in garden include paradise ducks and kingfishersSpaSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorHideaway - Tranquil and intimate.
Villa Del Lago 16 rooms from $214Queenstown
Fully serviced modern suites and apartments in Queenstown with kitchen, laundry, dining and sitting areas. Features such as gas flame fires, outdoor patios, balconies and free unlimited wifi. Family friendly, and close to Frankton walk and cycle trail.Views - Lake and mountain viewsLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.
Almyra Waterfront Lodge 3 rooms from $220Tasman
Luxury B&B and apartment accommodation close to Abel Tasman National Park. Chic interiors are a clever mix of contemporary and traditional. Plus a swimming pool and hot tub, use of kayaks and three acres of gardens leading down to waterfront. Good for families, groups and adventure-seekers.Birdwatching - Species in area include waders, kingfishers and heronsViews - Across Kina Estuary to Mt Arthur rangesSwimming Pool - Solar heated, outdoor and spa pool tooKayaking - Free use of kayaks
No Road Inn 4 rooms from $229Malborough Sounds, Marlborough
Accessible only by water taxi, helicopter or on foot, this lodge is the first night's stay along the Queen Charlotte Track. Light and airy rooms with private outdoor decks, showers and free standing baths. With an outdoor hot tub, native forest garden, restaurant and wifi. Luxury in the wilderness.Great walks - On the Queen Charlotte Hiking TrackOutstanding location - Situated on the Queen Charlotte TrackBirdwatching - Motuara Island bird sanctuaryViews - Bush and waterfront views
Antria Boutique Lodge 2 rooms from $235Blenheim, Marlborough
Charming boutique lodge consisting of two suites with high timber ceilings and quirky, contemporary local art. Friendly hosts offer tailored tours of the area. Within walking distance to restaurants and wineries. Garden with chickens, pigs and sheep. Great for a weekend break.Local markets - Marlborough Farmers Market (seasonal)Sailing - Boat trips in the Marlborough soundsGreat walks - Queen Charlotte TrackFishing - Excellent fishing nearby.
Escape to Picton 3 rooms from $235Picton, Marlborough
Fun & lively boutique hotel on Picton's waterfront. Romantic rooms decorated in a neutral palette with opulent accessories including chandeliers, wooden floors and free standing baths. Highly acclaimed on site restaurant for local seafood & more. Great base for exploring Marlborough region.Sights nearby - Two minutes to the town centreViews - Overlooking Picton MarinaGreat walks - Queen Charlotte TrackRestrictions on children
Wairepo House from $257Nelson, Tasman
Boutique country house hotel with elegant suites. Spectacular landscaped gardens including two acres of peonies and a working apple and pear orchard. Outdoor swimming pool, grass tennis court and giant chess. Close to three national parks and Motueka rivers.Fishing - On Motueka riversLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Vintners Retreat from $260Marlborough
Luxury accommodation in Marlborough vines. Self catering cottages with kitchen, laundry, living area and outdoor patio with BBQ. Swimming pool and tennis court on site. Ideal for wine tours and trips to local beaches.Swimming Pool - OutdoorGreat walks - Good for walkers.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.
The George 53 rooms from $264Christchurch
Small luxury boutique hotel in centre of Christchurch. Local art on walls, top amenities and great views from rooms out to Hagley Park or River Avon. Two award winning restaurants, access to a gym and free use of mountain bikes. City style done well.Views - Overlooking picturesque Hagley Park and River AvonSights nearby - Short walk from museum, botanical gardens, casinoHideaway - Tranquil and intimate.Recommended by - Tablet, Fodors
The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge 10 rooms from $342Motueka, Tasman
This eco-lodge offers luxurious, comfortable and stylish rooms in Riwaka Valley on 50 acres of native bush. Some rooms have views over Kahurangi National Park. With a spa, outdoor swimming pool, gym and hot tub. Committed to sustainable practices including solar power and recycling.Outstanding location - In Riwaka Valley on 50 acres of native bush on edge of two national parksGreat walks - 5km of walking tracks around the LodgeViews - Over the Kahurangi National ParkDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.
Evergreen Lodge 4 rooms from $354Queenstown
Clean, comfortable and luxurious five star accommodation with wonderful unobstructed views over Lake Wakatipu. With a gym, sauna, laundry room and outdoor dining area. Ideal for a relaxing stay away from the bustle of the town.Views - Across lake to The RemarkablesFishing - Excellent fishing nearby.5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Secluded setting - For escaping.
Old Saint Mary's Convent 5 rooms from $358Blenheim, Marlborough
Heritage hotel with fascinating religious history set in 60 acres of vines, park-like gardens and olive groves. Five suites with modern amenities, antique furnishings, rimu panelling and stained glass windows. Plus an outdoor pool and private chapel. Full of character and charm.Views - Of surrounding vineyards, gardens and Richmond RangesQuirky - Small family of cats lives on propertySights nearby - Omake Aviation Heritage CentreGreat walks - Queen Charlotte Track
Bay of Many Coves Resort 11 rooms from $405Picton, Marlborough
Tranquil and private luxury eco resort with spacious, elegant rooms & apartments. Outdoor decks & huge picture windows make the most of fantastic views over the bay. With a fine dining restaurant, private jetty, hot tub and outdoor swimming pool. Dolphin spotting and great walks nearby.Kayaking - Borrow a Sea Kayak or Dinghy for exploring Marlborough SoundsGreat walks - Queen Charlotte Track and 50 acres of private bush to exploreBirdwatching - Species include Kereru, Tui and WekaRemote - Only accessible by water or airRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
Lake Timara Lodge 4 rooms from $418Marlborough
Luxury lodge with English country house feel in the heart of NZ's Marlborough wine region. Rooms with antique furnishings, bright wall paper, comfy double beds and seating areas. With a swimming pool, 5 acre garden with deliciously scented roses, tennis court and private wine cellar. Just charming.Birdwatching - Native wood pigeons, black swans, teal, geese, ducksGreat walks - Queen Charlotte TrackFishing - Excellent fishing nearby.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Whare Kea Lodge and Chalet 6 rooms from $425Wanaka
Luxury accommodation on Lake Wanaka. Ensuite rooms with under-floor heating, walk-in double-headed showers and contemporary local art on walls. With a hot tub, day spa and ski storage. Yoga and cooking classes available. Ideal for an active holiday or country escape.Views - To lake and Southern AlpsGreat walks - Around lakeRemote - Off the beaten track.Restrictions on children
Bronte Country Estate 5 rooms from $432Nelson
Luxury suites and villas set on Nelson's Bronte Peninsula with views across Waimea Estuary. Chic, modern and elegant rooms with private terraces and verandas. With a swimming pool, massage facilities and free use of bikes. Lovely rose gardens. Family owned for generations.Birdwatching - On Waimea EstuaryLocal markets - Good for local colour.Back to NatureGreat walks - Good for walkers.
Matakauri Lodge 16 rooms from $433Queenstown (569 Glenorchy Road)
Luxury lodge with wow factor in stunning location just seven minutes drive from Queenstown on Lake Wakatipu. Range of villas and suites available, all with private balconies and decks with views to distant mountains. Heated outdoor infinity pool, gym and spa. Blissful country escape.Swimming Pool - Heated outdoor infinity poolViews - Across lake to mountainsOpulentSpaRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
The Spire Hotel 10 rooms from $468Queenstown
Ten luxurious modern suites with stone clad fireplaces, wooden shutters and fresh flowers in rooms. With a cocktail bar, restaurant, access to a gym and garden. In centre of Queenstown within walking distance of restaurants, cafes and sights.Views - Lake and mountainLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Hideaway - Tranquil and intimate.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses 10 rooms from $481Kaikoura (RD 1)
Contemporary country hotel in Kairkoura, one of NZ’s top whale watching areas. Tree house style rooms with handcrafted wooden beds and furniture, rainforest showers and great views. With a pool, sauna and library. A great base to explore the local wildlife, walks and Maori culture.Birdwatching - Species include Hutton's Shearwater, 5 species of AlbatrossViews - To Kaikoura Mountain Range, Pacific Ocean and olive grovesDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Fiordland Lodge 12 rooms from $490Te Anau
Ten rooms in lodge and two self-contained loft-style log cabins with views to Lake Te Anau. Rooms in muted natural colours and textures reflect the landscape, and have outdoor seating areas. Next to Fiordland National Park, with great walking trails and scenery.Views - Over Lake Te AnauRestrictions on children - Must be over 5Great walks - Good for walkers.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.
Otahuna Lodge from $480Christchurch (Tai Tapu)
Luxury lodge with 118 year old stunning gardens nationally recognised for their beauty. Rooms are light and spacious, with open fireplaces and antique furniture. Cooking classes available with onsite chef. Perfect for a relaxing romantic getaway.Views - Across Canterbury plains to Southern AlpsLocal markets - Good for local colour.Secluded setting - For escaping.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Fodors, Tablet, Relais & Chateaux
Eichardts Private Hotel 10 rooms from $742Queenstown
Spectacular views from this luxury hotel on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Chic designer decor bringing warmth and style with open fireplaces and comfy beds. Ski storage, a gym, bar and restaurant serving local seasonal cuisine. Ideal for browsing in the designer boutiques and taking in the city.Designer - Details curated by New Zealand decorator Virginia FisherViews - Across lakeBack to NatureSailing - Can be booked nearby.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Azur Lodge from $752Queenstown
Open plan apartments with floor to ceiling windows, glass doors and open plan layout including dining and living areas. Stunning views across Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables and Cecil and Walter Peaks, only five minutes to Queenstown. Perfect for a romantic getaway.Views - Across Lake WakatipuBack to NatureHideaway - Tranquil and intimate.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Blanket Bay 12 rooms from $1466Otago
Set on a sheep, cattle and deer farm on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, this luxury lodge has open fireplaces, schist stone and timber beams. Rooms with antique furniture, large double beds and private balconies overlooking the bay. There is mountain biking and riding on the farm.Fishing - Close to Dart RiverRestrictions on children - Must be 10 or overViews - Over Blanket BaySailing - Can be booked nearby.Recommended by - Tablet, Fodors
About South Island
New Zealand’s South Island has some of the world’s most spectacularly diverse scenery. There are jagged, misty peaks and mysterious glaciers and fjords, snow dusted mountains with peaceful lakes, forests and rainforest and near perfect beaches. This is a fantastic backdrop for everything on the adventure sports scale and home to some of New Zealand’s rarest animals. The best places to stay on the South Island range from boutique country house hotels in the wine regions to city hotels and remote eco-lodges. And you’ll find our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay on the South Island in all the major cities and travel destinations.
Or see our South Island Collections:
- The Best Places to stay in Christchurch
- The Best Places to stay in Queenstown
- The Best Places to stay in Marlborough
- The Best Places to stay in Otago
- The Best Places to stay in Tasman
- Wine hotels in Marlborough
- Wine hotels in Canterbury and the Waipara Valley
- Wine hotels in Nelson
Picton is thought of by many as the gateway to the South Island, but it’s also the best place to land if you want to explore the Marlborough Sounds or walk the Queen Charlotte Track. In summer the ferries are very busy and this is a charming little centre, with plenty to do.
Lively little Nelson is also at the top of the South Island, overlooking Tasman Bay, and right on the edge of the pristine wilderness of the Abel Tasman National Park.
Christchurch is the South island’s largest city, often called ‘the Garden City’, but also familiar to many because of its recent earthquakes.
Queenstown is probably a larger destination when it comes to visitors, this is New Zealand’s extreme sports capital, known for the adventures offered right on its doorstep, on the stunning surrounds of Lake Wakatipu and the peaks of The Remarkables. These make the perfect backdrops to try your hand at bungy jumping, skydiving, jet-boating, skiing or playing golf - at one of the five international standard golf courses.
If you’re travelling to the South Island for the Abel Tasman National Park, the Nelson Lakes National Park, the Kahurangi National Park, or the Tasman Mountains, the Victoria Ranges or Mount Franklin then you’ll be travelling through the Tasman district, which also borders the Marlborough wine region and the city of Nelson.
Otago is where you’ll find Dunedin and the strange landscape of the old gold rush belt, but it’s also got the Otago Peninsula - known for its varied wildlife, several great wine regions and it’s well known for its cycling trails.
Fiordland is where you’ll find Milford and Doubtful Sounds - vast, still fjords surrounded by steep cliffs, and the Milford Track, one of the world’s most scenic walking trails. Outside the deep, dark fjords lies the Tasman Sea, so everywhere you look around here you’re in for breathtaking scenes.
For a special occasion
- The Bay of Many Coves Resort is a private, tranquil ecolodge with eleven rooms and apartments. Some rooms have huge decks or floor to ceiling windows, to take advantage of the fantastic views over the bay. There’s also a private jetty, fine dining restaurant and an outdoor pool and hot tub.
- The Azur Lodge is a collection of nine villas, just five minutes drive from Queenstown, but right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, with views across the lake to The Remarkables beyond. Each villa has floor to ceiling windows and living and dining areas, and the whole place feels tranquil and secluded.
To get away from it all
- The Waters is a boutique three room B&B with modern, comfortable suites and extraordinary views of both the sea and the mountains. There’s also a spa pool and sauna, and you’re right on the edge of the Windhover Estate, surrounded by acres of grape vines and olive groves.
- Glendeer B&B Lodge in Timaru is a three room property located in between a bevy of beautiful rivers and streams - so it’s an especially good choice for keen fishermen. The lodge has a fully equipped kitchen, but they also do a continental breakfast for guests.
- Matakauri Lodge enjoys a stunning location on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and each of its 16 rooms, villas and suites have private balconies and decks from which to take full advantage of the glorious views. There’s also a heated outdoor infinity pool and a gym and spa. And you’re really just seven minutes drive from Queenstown.
For spectacular views
- The Portage Resort offers a choice of accommodation to suit a range of budgets, including several options less than £100 per night. Rooms are modern and light, some with private balconies and the whole resort has spectacular views to Kenepuru Sound.
- The Bronte Country Estate is on Nelson’s Bronte Peninsula, offering views over the Waimea Estuary. The rooms are chic and modern with private terraces and verandas. There’s also a swimming pool, a lovely rose garden and free bike hire.
- Eichardts Private Hotel is a small, but very luxurious hotel on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. There are just ten chic, designer rooms and a gym, bar and restaurant serving seasonal local cuisine. There are wonderful views and yet you’re still close to the highlights of Queenstown.
For food and wine
- The two room Marlborough B&B is a charming little B&B, right in the heart of wine country, which also has a self catering cottage. The house and cottage are set on seven acres, which also support a walnut grove, a few cattle and some free range chicken. Peaceful and perfect for birdwatchers.
- Lake Timara Lodge is a luxurious lodge with an English country house feel. There are just four rooms, decorated with antiques and bright wallpaper, plus a pool, tennis court, excellent wine cellar and five acres of beautiful, fragrant gardens.
- A Culinary Experience in Nelson is a boutique, two room B&B focussed on gourmet food, cooking classes and wine tasting tours. The accommodation is light and luxurious, with a hot tub, private cellars and a large veranda.
For lovers of The Great Outdoors
- Blanket Bay is a sheep, cattle and deer farm, right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. There are 12 rooms available, with open fireplaces, charming antiques, exposed timber beams and most importantly, private balconies overlooking the bay. There’s great riding opportunities on the farm, but also great mountain biking.
- Just outside Picton, convenient for the Queen Charlotte Track and the Marlborough Sounds, McCormick House is a charming, six room B&B set amongst lush grounds. The rooms are all different, but all have luxurious linen and handcrafted furniture.
For total relaxation
- Wairepo House is a boutique, country house hotel with elegant suites and beautiful landscaped gardens - including working apple and pear orchards. There’s also a pool, tennis court and you’re in the heart of some breathtaking scenery.
- Vintners Retreat offers luxurious cottage accommodation in amongst the wine rows of Marlborough. Each cottage has its own kitchen, laundry, living room, patio and BBQ. There’s also a swimming pool and tennis courts on site.
The Best Places to Stay on the South Island - Christchurch
- The George is a 53 room boutique hotel in the heart of Christchurch. Here you’ll enjoy top facilities and great views, both inside and out, inside there’s local art, and outside there’s Hagley Park. The George has two award winning restaurants. And free mountain bike hire.
- The Classic Villa is a bright pink boutique B&B converted from a Canterbury villa. Rooms have all the mod. cons. and there’s a delicious, Mediterranean style breakfast on offer.
- At Otahuna Lodge, a wonderful old country house surrounded by nationally recognised, stunning gardens, more than a hundred years old, guests stay in light, spacious rooms decorated with antiques. And enjoy great food - or cooking classes - care of a fantastic onsite chef.
- Stoneleigh Lodge is a luxurious lodge, set within 20 acres of its own landscaped grounds - some of which is now an alpaca farm. Rooms are large and light, and you’re slightly out of town, on route to the wineries.
For the Abel Tasman National Park
- Peppers Awaroa Lodge is a luxury eco-lodge by the coast, and within the Abel Tasman National Park. There are 26 rooms and suites, all with outside decks and great views over the bush and wetlands. There’s also a wonderful organic kitchen garden. You can’t drive here, you can walk in, sea kayak, or come by water taxi or helicopter.
- The Almyra Waterfront Lodge is a chic three room B&B close to the Abel Tasman National Park, with stunning, ever changing mountain and sea views. Despite being small there’s a pool, hot tub, three acres of gardens leading down to the waterfront and kayaks available for guests to use.
- The The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge is on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park and the Kahurangi National Park, with views over both of them. The accommodation is luxurious, ten stylish rooms, with a pool, spa, gym and hot tub.