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South Island (Te Waipounamu)

English Wikivoyage-style map of the travel regions in New Zealand's South Island

South Island, or Te Waipounamu, is the larger of New Zealand’s two main islands, prompting South Island wags to label it ‘the mainland’, despite it only being home to about 23% of the country’s population.

The Māori name, Te Waipounamu, means "the Waters of Greenstone", but to visitors this is the land of a myriad of attractions - the Southern Alps, towering peaks such as Mt Cook (NZ’s highest at 3724m) and Mt Aspiring, gorgeous national parks, glaciers, fiords, sounds, forests, excellent hiking tracks and winter sports.

And it’s the land for adventuring – hiking in the wild, bungy jumping, rafting, skydiving, skiing and lots, lots more.

The South Island will be a highlight and a must for any visit to New Zealand.

Christchurch & Canterbury

Dunedin & Otago

Fiordland, Southland & Stewart Island

Marlborough & Nelson

Queenstown & Southern Lakes

West Coast

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by Shaundd