Most travelers heading to New Zealand's South Island only get a glimpse of what the Marlborough Sounds has to offer as the Wellington To Picton ferry passes through the sounds entrance the bays, peninsulas and inlets are just stunning, the sounds cover some 4,000 sq kms and most of the sounds are boat access only, the sounds were formed by land subsidence and and rising sea levels which in turn flooded the once dry valleys with sea water, there are numerous charter boats available from Picton for a trip you will never forget.
Abel Tasman National Park
The Abel Tasman National Park is located at the very top of the South Island between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay the area gets the name from Abel Tasman the explorer, the park covers some 237 sq kms and includes the popular Abel Tasman Coastal walk which is one of the nine great walks of New Zealand the park has it all stunning walks through native bush and along secluded sandy beaches and there are various other walks located with in the park a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Fox And Franz Josef Glacier
The Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier are both located on the West Coast of the South Island, the Fox Glacier is some thirteen kms long and is located in the Westland National Park and gets the name from the former prime minister Sir William Fox, the Franz Josef Glacier is around 12 kms long and is also located within the Westland National Park around 20 kms from the Fox Glacier, while both these glaciers are only a fraction of the size they once were due to global warming they are still an impressive sight and a must see for any tourist.
Mount Cook National Park
The Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a mixture of high mountain tops, snow covered peaks, braided river systems and beautiful lakes the scenery around the Mount Cook National Park is just stunning, there are many attractions within the park including the Tasman Glacier New Zealand's longest glacier at 23.5 kms, there are also twelve other glaciers located with in the park, New Zealand's highest mountain Mount Cook rises to an impressive 3,724 meters, you could spend weeks within the park there is so much to see and explore here a must for anyone to visit.
Milford Sound is located in the South West of New Zealand's South Island, the sound is a fiord carved out by huge glaciers in time passed, Milford Sound runs some 15kms inland from the open ocean on the West Coast and is one of the wettest places in New Zealand with an annual rainfall of 6,412 mm the sound is impressive with near vertical cliffs on both sides with waterfalls cascading down the sides, there are charter boats operating within the sounds for cruises and also helicopter and plane tours available, the Milford Track is located within the Park and is a popular multi day walk through stunning scenery.