South Island Sights, New Zealand

Paragliding over Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Paragliding over Nelson, South Island, New Zealand.

Nelson‘s sunny, leafy and low-rise city is likely to be encountered by many New Zealand tourists by virtue of its location at the north end of the South Island, near to Picton’s ferry port to/from Wellington on the North Island. Ferries are frequent and take about 3 hours to shuttle across the Cook Strait with their huddled masses of tour buses, cars and bikes.

Kite surfing on Nelson beaches, South Island, New Zealand.

One of Nelson’s beaches during a kite surfing competition.

Walking trail in Abel Tasman National Park, South Island, New Zealand

Abel Tasman National Park. Photo by ischa1.

Nelson is the gateway to fabulous Abel Tasman National Park, a boating, kayaking and especially walking paradise on the north-west of New Zealand’s South Island. The Abel Tasman Coast Track is justly famous for its long, luscious hiking.

Punakaiki, Pancake Rocks, South Island, New Zealand

While further south on the west coast lie thestrangely eroded Punakaiki Rocks (aka Pancake Rocks).

Kaikoura, baby penguin, South Island, New Zealand

Kaikoura, baby penguin.

On the opposite, north-east coast of the South Island is the Kaikoura Peninsula, a marine and birdlife haven popular with tourists for whale watching, swimming with dolphins, viewing albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds, strolling around penguin colonies.

Kaikoura, fur seal, South Island, New Zealand

Get a whiff of Southern Fur Seals.

Further south Dunedin also offers plenty of wildlife experiences and then there are the peculiar Moeraki Boulders on the Otago coast in the south-east, not too far from Queenstown

Moeraki Boulders, Otago, South Island, South Island, New Zealand

And on a beach, far, far away, giant exploded footballs.