Endless reasons to visit
Explore Hurunui
Brilliant every day
Explore Marlborough
one hundred ways to experience
Nelson Tasman
Explore Nelson Tasman
Untamed Natural Wilderness
West Coast
Explore West Coast

Top of the South

Discover rare and beautiful wildlife, dramatic coastal landscapes, fresh seafood and artisanal food, beer and wine.

The Top of the South Island of New Zealand is known for its mild climate, relaxed pace, untouched vistas and some of the most picturesque coastal drives in the world. Whether you’re keen to get amongst the greatest of the outdoors, or want to connect with the artists, farmers, food producers, brewers and winemakers who call this beautiful corner of the world home, the Top of the South is the perfect spot to create some idyllic New Zealand memories.

Opportunities abound for hikers and cyclists of all levels, with several well established and easily accessible walking and cycling trails.

The top of the south is a mecca for watersports. Cruise or sail the pristine coves and bays of the Marlborough Sounds, kayak and paddleboard the calm, warm waters of Golden Bay and Tasman, surf the breaks or get up close to some of the rare and beautiful marine mammals along the stunning Kaikōura coastline, take a white-knuckled water rafting trip along the stunning gorges of the West Coast or a thrilling jet boat ride along the braided rivers in the Hurunui.
This corner of the world is home to many passionate growers, farmers and artisan food producers. From freshly caught Kōura/Crayfish in Kaikōura, world-famous Marlborough King Salmon, sheep and goat’s cheese in Nelson, wild West Coast Mānuka honey and premium beef and lamb grown in the rolling pastures of North Canterbury, the top of the south is a gourmet's delight.

While the rural places in the top of the south give you a chance to connect with the land and its people, the towns and Nelson City are hubs for the arts, culture, heritage and good coffee of course!

Home to the colourful Saturday market, Suter Gallery and lively cafe scene, Nelson buzzes with creative energy. Relax and enjoy the local seafood and heritage in Havelock, Picton and Kaikōura, hunt out wild food, brews and history in Hokitika and soak up the alpine scenery and retail scene in Hanmer Springs.

Visiting Our Regions


From the rolling hills and wineries of Waiparato the rugged limestone cliffs along the east coast, the incredible vistas, relaxed vibe and warm Kiwi hospitality in Hurunui offers an opportunity to slowdown and make the most of your visit.


From the thrill of whale spotting by plane, trekking with llamas and visiting with seals, there are so many exciting opportunities to explore this unique area by land, sea or air. The waters in this part of the world are home to a vast array of marine mammals and birdlife which can be viewed from above and below the waves.


Dreamy sunsets, calm reflections and star-filled nights - you couldn’t ask for a more inspiring backdrop to create un-filled holiday memories with your loved ones.  Explore the four valleys that create Marlborough, meet the passionate people who live, work and play there and learn about their connection with the land.

Nelson Tasman

Nelson Tasman has an incredible arts and events scene, an exciting and diverse range of food and beverage producers and an indelible connection with the outdoors. Along with a vibrant array of fresh produce and artisan products, boutique wineries, craft breweries and award winning cider makers can all be found in this part of the world.

West Coast

From its stunning coastline to the epic peaks of the Southern Alps, the West Coast is a place of stunning natural beauty and the ideal spot for a getaway. Whether the hills are calling your name, or you prefer a more laid-back approach to taking some time out, there is no better place to re-set, recharge and reconnect.

Your own unique travel style


Leave the crowds and queues behind and head to the top of the south for fun-filled adventures and lifelong memories for the whole family. If you’re looking for something new and exciting, why not try llama trekking in Kaikoura, where you can enjoy some fun with your family, quality time with these amazing animals and magnificent coastal views. Hop aboard the Weka Pass Railway, feed the farm animals in Hanmer Springs, visit the world-renowned Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Marlborough, burn off some steam at the Cable Bay Adventure Park in Nelson Tasman and try your hand at gold panning in Ross on the West Coast. Active families may enjoy the challenge of a hiking, biking or kayaking trip in this beautiful part of the world. Get off-grid at any number of DOC campsites including Gore Bay, Whites Bay, Tōtaranui, Puhi Puhi or Gillespies Beach during summer, or in winter head to the family-friendly ski fields of Lyford, Hanmer and Rainbow. Take a guided kayak tour around the Kaikōura Peninsula coast for a closer look at the acrobatic dolphins and friendly seals that live there, enjoy a peaceful stroll and opportunity to view rare birds on an island sanctuary in the Marlborough Sounds. Or take a tour with your tastebuds and cycle the family-friendly Great Taste Trail in Tasman, or marvel at the incredible limestone formations all along the West Coast - from the impressive Oparara Arches near Karamea, to Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki.From budget-friendly campsites and holiday parks to family-friendly motels, farmstays and lodges, there are accommodation options to suit any family and lifestyle, no matter what time of year you decide to holiday.

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