9 Reasons Why New Zealand's South Island Is Bucket List AF
It's no secret that New Zealand's South Island is an environmental, scenic, and geographical marvel.
Throw in once-in-a-lifetime mindblowing activities, and you have more than enough to keep you entertained during a Bucket List trip away.
We bounced around the South Island for 10 days to scout out the region's most incredible 'must dos'.
WATCH OUR ACTION (AND FOOD) PACKED HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SOUTH ISLAND BELOW...
Brace yourselves. Envy feels are coming...
1. Abel Tasman National Park
New Zealand really is the ultimate smorgasbord of countries, and so it's no surprise that Abel Tasman National Park has something for everyone.
Whether you want to relax at one of the rural lodges dotted throughout the park and soak up the stunning views, hike along one of the arils, swim out in the azure waters, kayak out into the blue, or go on a boat ride taking in the views and trying to spot seals, the park has it all.
Sometimes all at the same time - one of our unforgettable life experiences included kayaking through the waters, only to have a baby seal playfully dip in and around our kayak for a good half an hour.
David Attenborough has nothing on us.
2. Forsters Restaurant, Mahana Vineyard
The only thing better than eating food designed by a chef who's worked at an array of AA Rosetted and Michelin-starred restaurants?
Doing so in a restaurant situated in an world-leading winery. Yes, please.
Forsters is the perfect place to unwind (especially after a long activity-laden trek through the wilderness), with mouth-watering food, wine to die for, and equally as spectacular views across the vineyard, Tasman Bay, and mounain ranges.
3. The World of Wearable Art and Collectible Cars, Nelson
Ok, so we know this doesn't sound the most exciting, but trust us when we say that The World of Wearable Art & Collectible Cars is mind-blowing.
From incredible cotour by the designers behind Katy Perry and Lady Gaga's iconic creations, to one of the biggest classic car collections in the country (including Austin Power's classic 'The Shaguar'), it's an alternative experience guaranteed to impress.
4. Fly over Kaikoura with Wings Over Whales
Take to the skies for a jaw-dropping flight in a small fixed-wing aircraft over the South Island's amazing coastal town of Kaikoura.
Due to some truly baffling natural topgraphy, the area boasts a marine basin that brings all the (aquatic) boys to the yard.
Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales and so much more.
5. Or get splashy with dolphins in the ocean
Encounter Kaikoura offer you the next best thing to soaring above the wildlife - getting wet and splashy with them in their natural habitat.
Take a boat ride at dusk, spot a pod of dolphins, and then hop into the water with them. Seeing marine wildlife the only way you really should - as a visitor to their environment, as opposed to a captive in ours.
6. Marvel at the Gap Fillers, Christchurch
The 2011 earthquake in Christchurch devastated the region, but thankfully its regeneration has seen the city emerge from the literal ashes in spectacularly creative style.
Case in point, the 'Gap Fillers' you'll see dotted around the city - innovative, artsy installations and street projects that fill holes in the city as it's rebuit. Giant Space invaders on the sides of buildings, speakers, dancefloors and disco balls for an impromptu boogie are all findable, and show the spirit of the city in proud style.
7. Experience Inati dining, Christchurch
'Inati' means 'to share' in Maori means to share, so it's no surprise to find that the restaurant named after it is fine dining at its best.
All produce is sourced locally to highlight the best the region has to offer, and we highly recommend the Chef's Menu, a six-dish procession of deliciously delectable meals that will leave you in foodie heaven, and all but ready to roll home.
8. Speed boat in style, Queenstown
K Jet is the world’s first commercial jet boat operator, and coincidentally one of the best.
Join them for a 43km adrenalin- filled journey from Queenstown Bay down to the Shotover River and back. It’s the perfect way to take in some of the idyllic views that Queenstown has to offer while skimming along as little as 2 inches of water(!)
9. Experience your heart in your mouth with a Kawarau Bridge Bungy jump
We all know what a bungy jump is.
But you may not know where the completely loopy practice came from.
Introducing the Kawarau Bridge Bungy - the first commercial bungy spot, that'll have you leaping form the 43 metre high Kawarau Bridge for a four second freefall that'll have you bouncing up and down (metaphorically and literally).
MTV Travelled With... Tourism New Zealand, and Thai Airlines who offer super-affordable flights, and pretty awesome lounge access that is a massive boon on a long trip (food/drinks/wifi/comfy chairs for snoozing etc). Daily flights from London Heathrow to Auckland via Bangkok with Thai Airways start from £685 pp. For more information visit www.thaiairways.com.