The Southern Alps are the backbone of New Zealand's South Island. The snow-capped mountain range features several glaciers and New Zealand’s highest peak - Aoraki-Mt Cook – along with dramatic alpine valleys that are home to the country’s best walking trails and ski fields. The Routeburn and Milford Track - two of New Zealand’s Great Walks - offer the best tramping in New Zealand in our view, showcasing the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks. Nearby, Queenstown and Wanaka are home to world-class ski resorts, Cardrona and the Remarkables. Heli experiences and expedition cruises into Milford Sound depart from Queenstown, Te Anau and Milford and are recommended inclusions on any bucket-list South Island itinerary. Many guests also visit the Marlborough region on their South Island journey to sample New Zealand's famous Sauvignon Blanc and hike the iconic Abel Tasman or Queen Charlotte Track. The diversity of natural landscapes on the South Island combined with the exceptional standard of its luxury lodges, makes it the ultimate adventure travel destination.

Featured image: Blanket Bay Walk

South Island Map 1
The South Island's luxury lodges are world-class and make the perfect base for an active alpine walking or ski holiday
Paige - Walk into Luxury

Frequently asked questions

Best Luxury Lodges and Villas in New Zealand

New Zealand's best luxury lodges and boutique retreats celebrate the alpine, coastal and rural landscapes of the North and South Island; read on for our selection of New Zealand's best luxury accommodation

Best Day Hikes in New Zealand

New Zealand's landscapes are awe-inspiring and, in our view, best seen on foot. From volcanic landscapes to lush coastal forests and alpine views, here's our pick of New Zealand's best day hikes.

Best Great Walks of New Zealand for the Luxury Traveller

Discover New Zealand’s Great Walks, a series of premier walking trails through iconic landscapes of the North and South Island. Here are our recommendations on the best walks in New Zealand for the luxury traveller.

Best Ski Fields in Queenstown and Wanaka

Queenstown and Wanaka's best ski fields are world-class, and well worth considering for your next luxury ski holiday

When is the best time to visit Queenstown?

Queenstown is the ultimate four-season travel destination.