New Zealand‘s South Island is a dramatic land, full of natural wonders that will have you gazing in awe and disbelief. This is one of the most beautiful lands on earth, with a great number of natural attractions and ways to enjoy them adventurously. Here are ten of the breathtaking locations to be found on this magical island:
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Milford sound was described by Rudyard Kipling as the Eight Wonder of the world. Located in the wild and beautiful fjordlands of the far south-west of the island, you can explore on or under Milford Sound on a range of diving or kayaking excursions or on a boat tour.
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Doubtful Sound is another of the sublime fjords of this region, if anything somewhat more rugged, remote and beautiful than the former. Doubtful sound can also be explored on an eco-tour or under your own steam on a kayaking or hiking expedition.
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These falls located near Milford Sound were long believed to be the tallest in the world. It is now known to be beaten in height by the Browne Falls that cascade into Doubtful Sound. These falls are still impressive however, and are a wonderful destination for a hike.
Lake Te Anau
This is the largest lake on south island. In fact it is the largest ake in Australasia by fresh water volume. The views across the lake are hard to beat with craggy, steep mountains that rise sharply to 1,400m above the surface of the lake.
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Mount Cook, or Aoraki as it is also known, is the highest mountain in New Zealand. It stands at 3724m, towering above other peaks in the Southern Alps. It consists of three peaks, low peak, middle peak and high peak. It is a popular tourist image of South Island.
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Just below the peaks of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman lies the Tasman Glacier, the longest glacier in New Zealand at 17 miles in length. It is estimated that the Tasman Glacier will completely disappear and the Tasman Lake reach its maximum size in the next 10-20 years.
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Fed by four alpine glaciers, Fox glacier is an 8 mile long glacier on the island’s West coast. It falls 2,600, on its journey from the Southern Alps down to the coast. It is one of the few glaciers in the world to end its journey among lush rainforest just 300m above sea level.
Franz Josef Glacier
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Like Fox Glacier, this glacier descends from the Southern Alps to the rainforests of the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. These two glaciers are far more accessible than higher altitude glaciers and so are extremely popular tourist attractions.
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Lake Matheson is one of the most beautiful spots on South Island. It is famed for its outstanding views towards Aoraki/ Mount Cook, which juts up above the clear, mirror-like water. This is also a good area for wildlife, and is a traditional food gathering place for Maori people.
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This stretch of coastline in the far south is famously picturesque, one of many scenic stretches of coastline around the island.
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