South Island’s east coast is a breathtakingly beautiful place to visit. You’ll find everything from nature reserves, wine tasting, to swimming with the dolphins, and more. Larger in size than North Island, it has a cooler climate with the southeastern tip offering spectacular alpine and coastal scenery. If you like green cities, you’ll love Christchurch. It’s packed with things to do and see including a museum, botanic gardens, and wildlife park. In addition, the International Arctic Centre provides a range of experiences for all the family.
Nature and Wildlife Along the East Coast
Nature and wildlife lovers will enjoy a visit to Akaroa, where a boat cruise can be taken from the harbour. Watch dolphins play, and spot rare seabirds including little blue penguins. The Catlin coastline is teaming with marine wildlife. You can expect to find sea lions, gannets, albatross, dolphins, and much more. Situated along the southern part of the east coast Catlins also offers spectacular waterfalls including Purakaunnui Falls. There are also enchanted forests including one that’s petrified!
Spectacular Geological Attractions
For those who’re interested in rock formations and geology, a trip along the Otago coast will amaze you with its spherical shaped boulders neatly situated on the beach. Known as Moeraki boulders they’re over 60 million years old. Hanmer Springs is just a 90-minute drive from Christchurch and has plenty of adventure activities. Take a dip in one of the natural hot pools, and explore the beautiful mountain scenery.
Fascinating Historical and Cultural Attractions
If you’re interested in history and culture, you’ll enjoy visiting Hawke’s Bay. From the Ongonga historic village to the Wairoa Museum, you’ll find plenty to see and do. Queenstown offers you the chance to explore heritage walks and discover its rich Maori culture. Besides, you’ll find plenty of art galleries in this diverse town.