New Zealand has many must-dos. Above all, New Zealand is for everyone. It has something of interest for everyone ranging from nature lovers to adventure junkies to culture fans.

If you have the time and luxury visit both North and South Islands of New Zealand. However, if it is an Either-Or situation, then a choice between the North Island and South Island of New Zealand is always a tough choice to make.

This post is my take on what can be done if you were to visit only the North Island or South Island of New Zealand. This photo journey is to showcase the range of options this island nation has to offer to us, travelers.

Adrenalin rush: New Zealand South Island you go

New Zealand offers some of the best vantage points and adventure escapades that one can imagine. Be it bungee jumping off a bridge at Kuwarau Gorge or flying in the air at Queenstown or doing a zip line across the rugged mountain, some of the best places are in the South Island of New Zealand.

A hotbed of many activities, the regions to head to are Otago, stretching from south of Aoraki Mount Cook all the way to the southeastern cost covering Lake Wanaka, the Crown range, Queenstown, Dunedin and all the towns in between.

Cultural high: New Zealand North Island it is

The New Zealand North Island is definitely the more populous one. With more than 2/3 of the nation’s population residing in the cities and towns of the North Island, the cultural diversity is high too.

The Maori population residing in the North Island have strong roots to the land and there are a number of sacred and culturally important centers dotted around the North Island. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand has many museums and cultural centers to absorb the Maori culture.

There are plenty of opportunities to observe their culture and of course the Haka- war dance. Check out Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Waikato, and Northland regions.

Snow and Sea: South Island is perfect

Like fraternal twins, the north and south islands of New Zealand are connected, albeit have different personas. Less populous and with more natural wonders, New Zealand South Island is the home to the famed Southern Alps. Be it the famed Aoraki Mount Cook or the humongous Franz Josef or Fox glaciers the south is a perfect blend of tall mountain ranges and glaciers that slowly melt into the sea.

The southern Fjords, where mountains and glaciers melt into the sea, are another highlight of the South Island. Milford and Doubtful sounds are the more popular tourist destinations to see this natural wonder. Just over 400 million years old, they are much younger than their northern counterparts.

If pristine landscapes dotted with snow-capped peaks and glaciers melting into the sea are your thing, head to Otago and Fjordland areas of the South Island. You won’t be disappointed.


While not identical, these twin islands of North Island and South Island of New Zealand have quite a few overlaps in terms of culture, adventure, nature. New Zealand is a beautiful country and needs to be explored at leisure.


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