New Zealand: South Island Photo Diary

Sunday, October 11, 2015 Fion Lai 3 Comments

Here are the places I have visited in New Zealand: South Island, you can also visit my New Zealand: North Island Photo Diary.

1. Ship Creek Beach - located along State Highway 6, it was out first stop after the inter-island crossing from the North Island. I was struck by the chaotic mass of logs and rocks washed ashore, but at the same time intrigued by the picturesque scene that oddly represents a shipwreck.

2. Ohau Point Seal Colony - is a unique spot to see baby seals in a close proximity. The are very interesting to observe, especially the baby seal pups swimming in the stream and playing with one another. Take the Ohau Stream and Waterfall walk to get to the pools to see the cut seal pups at the Ohau Point waterfall or take a swim with them on a guided sea swimming tour in the gorgeous little bays of the Kaikoura Peninsula.
 3. Hilltop Tavern, Akaroa - after what seemed like an eternity of curvy roads through the hill, is Canterbury's best photo opportunities for you to look upon the Banks Peninsula and the five bays. 

 4. Akaroa - apparently the most French town in New Zealand, Akaroa is also a British settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. Explore the village with its colonial architecture, galleries, craft stores, cafes, historic buildings and magnificent harbour. This is the ideal place to soak into the magic of this area and enjoy some fine fish and chips and seafood chowder on the wharf.
5. Christchurch City - the remnant of the shattered city still remained even after four years of the Christchurch earthquake. A lot of commercial buildings are still shut down but effort in reviving the city can be seen.
6. Christchurch Botanical Gardens - is by far one of the most beautiful and best kept gardens I have been to. It houses the collection of modern and cultivar roses which make this garden a colourful and fragrant place. Adjacent to the lovely rose garden is the New Zealand garden which provides an introduction to the native species. The conservatory complex displays everything from cacti and succulents to tropical orchids and carnivorous plants. Also, don't forget to visit Iiex Cafe right next to the rose garden!
7. Aoraki/ Mount Cook -a must-go despite the long long long car ride, but it's all worth it once you take in all the breathtaking landscapes. Aoraki Mount Cook is home to turquoise lakes, snow capped mountains and New Zealand's high peaks and he longest glaciers. It is alpine in the purest sense - with skyscraping peaks, glaciers and permanent snow fields, all set under a star- studded sky.

8. Shotover Canyon, Shotover jet - with the unique and spectacular landscape, this is the place where you take a thrilling jetboat ride through the dramatic and narrow canyons and enjoys the exhilarating experience!

9. Queenstown - set on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges, is definitely my favourite town out of hundreds of towns I have visited in Australia and New Zealand. I was captivated by the stunning harbour and the warm and welcoming atmosphere that I was perfectly content to just relax and explore the beautiful town. surrounded by majestic mountains, the natural beauty and the unique energy of the region create the perfect backdrop for a holiday full of adventure, exploration and relaxation.

10. Skyline Gondola Queenstown - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere allows you to marvel at the stunning panoramic views over Queenstown and take endless selfies! It is also the place for you to try the thrilling downhill track while marvelling at the scenery.

11. Fergburger - I don't normally boast about food in my journey but I can't resist taking a picture of this insanity before devouring it, and am already planning my next visit to the burger shop again. Apparently the most famous burger in New Zealand ( and I wouldn't doubt it), it's nearly impossible to separate the words 'Queenstown' and 'Fergburger', the burger joint is swarmed by people queuing ever time I walked pass, all happily waiting to be fed. the burger in the image above is the Big Al ($17.50 NZD) which delivers a 'double servings of prime New Zealand beef (1/2 lb), lashings of beacons, a whole lotta cheese, 2 eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, red onion, relish & a big wad of aioli' according to the menu. the burger is absolutely humongous that I was only able to finish  half of it, and the other half left as my lunch for the next day. My family and friends have also tried the Fergburger ($11), Mr Big Stuff ($16), the Codfather ($14.50) and more exotic choices like Little Lamby (12.50) and Sweet Bambi ($12.50). The large crusty and soft inside bun is baked in-house by Ferg Bakery right next to Fergburger, and contains the great peppery pieces of beef cooked medium. The experience was so mind blowing that I went the second time before catching the flight to try the Bombay Chicken burger (highly recommended) which blew me away again.
12. Glenorchy - Glenorchy’s spectacular landscapes have become a prime location for film scouts, depicting many scenes from The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as featuring in the Narnia movies .The colourful mountain ranges acting as the backdrop of the farmland creates a dreamy setting that is nothing short of awe- inspiring. 

13. Mrs Jones Fruit Orchard Garden - this is the place to be if you would like to visit an orchard and a garden at the same time.
14.Cromwell - Cromwell was established by gold miners, but now its treasure is stone fruit. You can also explore nearby ghost towns and soak up the tranquil lakeside scenery.

 15.Cromwell Spider Beet- On the way to Cromwell, I spotted this very photo-worthy Beetle car in the shape of a spider.

 16. Bruce Bay - or more like 'pebble beach', this is a great place to take scenic photographs and admire the marbles and messages left by visitors.It is also a great place to take in the broad vista of beach and forest, and take a walk along the beach.

 17. Fox Glacier - Although almost melted away during summer, it is actually New Zealand's largest commercially guided glacier, situated in Glacier Country where you are able to walk to the dynamic glacier face, go on a an ice-hiking adventure or book a sight-seeing flight.

18. The Crown Range - the road over the mighty range, known as the Crown Range Road, is the highest main road in New Zealand. The roads hug the natural curve of the range and at an altitude of 1121m, is quite challenging, however memorable. Be sure to have a brave and skilled driver because it's no joke to travel on such narrow and curvy roads.

This is the feature of the second half of my New Zealand journey, if you have not already seen my first post New Zealand: North Island Photo Diary, please check it out!

Overall, New Zealand is a delighted travel experience that is very welcoming and interesting in its diverse cultures and spectacular landscapes. One thing of concern though, is the expensive cost, so save up before you go to New Zealand!


  1. This is amazing stuff man! good read 10/10

  2. Such a gorgeous place.. beautiful photos dear...