New Zealand’s South Island is natural bliss in its purest form. The stunning, diverse landscape seamlessly integrates impressive mountain summits between winding fjords, secret beaches, and historic glaciers that will leave you breathless. It’s no wonder that seemingly every screensaver on the planet is a photograph from the one-of-a-kind island. But when it comes time to actually visit this fairytale destination on your honeymoon, the magnificent splendor of the surroundings is just the beginning.
The destination is both the largest and less populated of New Zealand’s islands, offering untold tranquil pleasures for adventure seekers. Thrilling itineraries include a five-day Classic New Zealand Wine Trail complete with lush vineyards and leisurely cycling as well as the Aline Pacific Tour with thermal hot pools, abundant wildlife, and the freshest seafood you’ll ever indulge in. These just scratch the surface of what’s available on the South Island, which spans backpacking trails, geothermal spectacles, and the real-life backdrops from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.
The island prioritizes its natural wonders, and for good reason. From the impressive heights of Mount Cook to the winding bends of Milford, Doubtful, and Marlborough Sounds, there are unbelievable sights wherever you look. You’ll have the ability to enjoy them however you want, as well, with scenic drives, boat tours, white water rafting, sky diving, jet boating, cycling, and canyon swings – just to name a few!
A vast array of romantic dining spots and flourishing wineries await couples looking to indulge in the area’s finest delicacies. And when it comes time to retire for the evening, you’ll be able to choose among luxurious lake resorts, hidden rainforest retreats, and cozy mountain lodges. On New Zealand’s South Island, you won’t just be treated to views of nature at its absolute finest; you’ll become an integral part of the story.
The 1 Best Honeymoon Resorts in South Island
Pepin Island Farm and Hut Stay
Be surrounded by the magnificent views of Tasman Bay, coastal native bush, and the spectacular landscape of a New Zealand sheep station. Enjoy an incredible sightseeing Walk and Hut stay, or a guided Farm tour on Pepin Island. With three beautifully situated huts, it is the place for a peaceful…
About South Island
At a Glance
- First-time travelers to the South Island can get an overview of the area’s best sights on the TranzAlpine Train. The coast-to-coast train connects Christchurch and Greymouth for a sightseeing journey that will leave couples yearning for more.
- The stunning Otago Peninsula is one of the South Island’s many natural marvels, and a scenic drive is the best way to take it all in. Keep an eye out for seals, sea lions, and yellow-eyed penguins!
- New Zealand’s diverse assortment of flowers are on full display at Christchurch Botanic Gardens – a signature attraction in Christchurch that is an idyllic setting for a quiet romantic afternoon.
- One of the most spectacular drives on the island is along Glenorchy-Queenstown Road. You’ll experience New Zealand life as its happening along this 29-mile stretch populated with numerous lookout points.
- Honeymooners will want to experience the full range of South Island culture offerings, and Central Otago’s wine region is an absolute must. The area is home to more than 100 wineries that can be enjoyed individually or on a gourmet food and wine tour.
- Cruising along Milford Sound is one of the island’s premier activities, and private and luxury cruises depart daily for a scenic, romantic experience like no other.
- If you or your loved one are car enthusiasts, you won’t want to miss the Nelson Classic Car Museum. The one-of-a-kind museum features more than 150 classic cars from a century of New Zealand automotive history.
- New Zealand is home to untold species of whales and dolphins, and you can experience them up close on either a watching cruise or a kayaking tour.
- Feeling the need for a bit of speed? Take a jet boat tour from Queenstown for an adrenaline-pumping adventure along Shotover River!
- Tour Larnach Castle, the only of its kind in the country, with its 3000-square-foot ballroom, Victorian gardens, and sweeping Otago Peninsula views.
- Street art is beloved by all in Christchurch, and couples are encouraged to take it all in on the street art trail with numerous creative murals.
- GETTING THERE: The South Island has three airports – Christchurch, Queenstown, and Dunedin – though the vast majority of these flights are domestic. Thus the majority of international flights to New Zealand land at Auckland Airport on the North Island, and travelers will then hop on a domestic flight to wherever they want to go. U.S. travelers can choose among American Airlines, United Airlines, Air New Zealand, and a number of others for direct flights.
- GETTING AROUND: Every conceivable transportation option is open to couples on a South Island honeymoon. Car rentals are quick and easy, as are campervans for couples seeking adventure, mobility, and privacy. You can also rent bikes, motorcycles, or arrange private transfers for wherever you want to go. Public transport is just as abundant with buses, trains, ferries, water taxis, and short domestic flights for hopping all around the expansive country.
- WHEN TO GO / WEATHER: New Zealand’s dynamic weather patterns make it a fascinating place to visit at any time of the year, dependent on your preference for activities. Its location in the Southern Hemisphere means that summer kicks off at the end of December, making prime travel time from December through February. If you’re a skiing fan, however, you’ll definitely want to travel in July or August for snow-packed slopes. Be sure to also consider spring between September and November, which, although rainy, is ideal for hiking and taking in the spectacular plants that cover the landscape.