The following South Island destination recommendations were written by a well-traveled CAE class at Languages International:

Akaroa – The Pearly Gates
One place you should visit in New Zealand is Akaroa. This lovely small village is only 1 hour away from Christchurch by car, but the atmosphere is completely different. You can feel the French origin and its dreamy and romantic life style.
What should you do in Akaroa?
Firstly, I think it would be a good idea to see the dolphins. You could go swimming with the dolphins or if you are afraid of being in the water, why not go on a cruise and see them from the boat? Secondly, I think it’s worth doing the “Banks Peninsula Track” which takes you 4 days around Akaroa. Finally, if I were you I would wander around the village and enjoy the French atmosphere.

by Thomas Cataruzza

Franz Joseph

Photo courtesy of stevemonty

If you are wondering where to go in the South island in NZ, why don’t you go to Franz Joseph and climb up the ice mountain. Once you get there, all equipment for climbing such as spikes, backpack, a jacket and pants are able to be rented. You do not have to worry about them. There are two options for walking up to the mountain; 3 hours or one day trips. If I were you I would take the 3 hour course because it may be too hard for people who aren’t really fit to try a whole day. But it’s up to you. I need to remind you that it is usually not nice weather on the west coast.
After you have done a lot of exercise, there is a spa in the centre of town. It’s worth going there and soaking yourself so you can relieve your tiredness, Then how about enjoying a pint of New Zealand beer in the bar near the spa? You will deserve it. However, it’s not worth you going to the museum. It’s not such an exciting place to visit. Also, there is a small hill to see kiwi birds, but again I do not recommend you do that.
So, if you have a weekend free, I’d advise you to go there. I’m sure you will have a nice time!

by Tomoe Takahashi


Photo courtesy of Peter Nijenhuis

This beautiful little place is located in the north part of the South Island of New Zealand. It’s a small village which is well known for whale watching and other tourist attractions like fishing, skydiving, horse riding and swimming with the dolphins. Overall, Kaikoura is a very enjoyable and relaxed place.
I think you ought to go on the Kaikoura walk which takes you three hours. At the beginning of this tour you can see lazy seals lying on the coast and just relaxing. After this first special impression you follow a small path up a hill where you continue your way. On this hike you will benefit from indescribable scenery of landscape and ocean. After that it would be best to spend your evening in Dusky Lodge, where you can have a cheap night in accommodation with a well known name and with good facilities.
Go there soon!

by Maria Haefliger


Photo courtesy of mainman in the night of filthiness

One place where you should go is Nelson, which is the sunniest place in the South island of New Zealand. Not only does this place have beautiful weather, but also the scenery from beaches to mountains is breath-taking.
When it comes to the attractions which you should go to, why don’t you go to ‘Pupu Springs’? The water there is so cold and clear that it is possible to see deep inside the water. Better still, you will definitely take pleasure from the trees around ‘Pupu Springs which are exotic.
What else? I think you ought to try wine tasting. A variety of wines can be tasted and the quality of them is first-rate because of the weather in Nelson which tends to be fine.
So, all in all, it is worth going to Nelson.

by Jae Hyun Kim

Visiting Christchurch

Is it worth visiting Christchurch? Definitely: Yes!
This lovely city on the east coast of the South island has its very own atmosphere. The river Avon and many beautiful trees form the image of Christchurch. Why don’t you take a walk in the huge Hagley park and enjoy a boat trip on a punt?
Nocturnal people will be pleased with the nightlife in the town. Cosy bars invite you to enter as well as to stay outside and to feel at home while sitting on a sofa. Having a drink with nice live music in the background ends the day agreeably. Nevertheless, you’d better not drink alcohol while walking in the streets – you might get arrested! It would certainly be a pity to spend your time in a prison instead of enjoying the wonderful places in Christchurch!

by Jaqueline Burgin


Photo courtesy of sir chalky

So many people, especially those who come from a foreign country into New Zealand, ask where they should go to enjoy the beautiful scenery in New Zealand. To my mind, Queenstown is the most beautiful place ever that you can go and find what you are looking for.
I would advise you to travel to Queenstown by car. It is a good idea to drive your car along the West Coast Road until you reach Queenstown. You will find amazing sightseeing along this road, where they let you stop your car and take some photos.
There are many activities which you can spend a good time doing. It would be better to get in a helicopter and take a fantastic tour around Queenstown .The pilot can take you to the top of one of the mountains as well, where you can see the snow covering these places. If I were you I would do Jet boating where boat driver can go so fast and make amazing moves. I think you ought to do Rafting with a group of tourists where you could feel the cooperation between the team members.
Actually you will be able to find a lot of activities that you would enjoy, but this is a short summary about the most impressive activities that I advise you to do.

by Adel Alghamdi