If you have children to entertain and need to unwind, the South
Island has attractions for all.
South Island Entertainment
Whether you've got children to entertain or you're looking for a
relaxing way to unwind after a day of outdoor adventure, the South
Island has a myriad of fascinating activities to suit every
Lovers of the fine arts will be spoilt for choice because the
South Island is home to a number of highly regarded art galleries.
Some of the best include the Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatu in
Nelson, the Christchurch Art Gallery and the Dunedin Public Art
Browsing through a museum is an excellent way of learning about
the region you're visiting. Some of the most highly regarded
are the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, Dunedin's Otago Museum,
and the Southland Museum and Art Gallery in Invercargill.
The South Island's excellent aviation museums are fascinating
places to visit. The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in
Marlborough was created with the help of cinematic special effects
artists. The Air Force Museum in Christchurch and the NZ
Fighter Pilots Museum in Wanaka are also highly regarded.
Other South Island attractions that offer an insight into the
world around us, both past and present, include The Antarctic
Attraction in Christchurch, the Hukawai Glacier Centre on the West
Coast, Mount John Observatory at Lake Tekapo and the Vanished World
Centre at Duntroon in Coastal Otago.
Find a new way to enjoy the landscape with a gondola ride to
soak up the views in Queenstown or Christchurch - or catch a train
for an unforgettable rail journey. Taieri Gorge Railway in
Dunedin and the Kingston Flyer in Queenstown are both popular short
trips, while the TranzAlpine from Christchurch to Greymouth is
regarded as one of the best in the world.
For pure fun, try something quirky such as Stuart Landborough's
Puzzling World in Wanaka - an eccentric world of puzzles and
illusions - or catch a film at a one-of-a-kind cinema.
South Island Culture
Go beyond the surface and learn about New Zealand's fascinating
culture both historic and present. The South Island offers
many different ways to gain an insight into what makes this nation
Christchurch, Dunedin and Oamaru are all well-known for their
architectural heritage and offer walking tours for a deeper
insight. The Cultural Precinct in Christchurch, home to the
renowned Arts Centre and other beautiful stone buildings, is a
great place to explore.
Dunedin is home to two historic homes that are open to the
public: Lanarch Castle and Olveston Historic House. Both are
beautifully restored to capture a slice of life in the days gone
The South Island has a long history of Maori settlement and a
rich Maori cultural heritage. The West Coast was particularly
significant as the only source of Pounamu (greenstone) and today
you can watch master craftsmen at work, carving the precious
With Katoro Heritage Journeys in Christchurch you can experience
the thrill of learning to paddle on a traditional Maori waka.
Fascinating Maori cultural experiences ranging from stirring
live song and dance performances to recreated Maori villages
including Ko Tane; The Maori Experience and Tamaki Heritage Village
in Christchurch, and the Kiwi Haka Show in Queenstown.