North Island vs South Island, New Zealand

Travelled by Brucini on 9 April 2009 | 12 Comments

Travelled By

Brucini Brucini

Brucini started seriously travelling after attempting to move to Queenstown, New Zealand, in 1996.Inspired by drunkenly meeting a world of travelers on a Kiwi Experience bus, he changed his plans and roamed the world for a year. ...Find out more!

North Island vs South Island, New Zealand

Lonely Planet have announced they are releasing their first guidebook that only features the South Island of New Zealand. Perhaps it has been a long time coming.

Sky Tower, Auckland.  Photo by CharlesLam http://www.flickr.com/photos/kclama

The iconic Sky Tower in Auckland

Travellers often only have time for one Island when visiting New Zealand. They have either left themselves too little time or just run out of time because they are having too good a time on one or the other island.

There are also more cheap flights than ever flying directly into Christchurch and Queenstown from Australia because of the increased airline competition. This allows people to do short breaks to the South Island where as they once would choose the cheaper flights to Auckland.

When you meet people who are going to New Zealand and you tell them that you’ve been there, the first question most people ask is: what’s better, the North or South Island?

The easy answer is they are like apples and oranges. The better answer is give yourself enough time to see both. Another way to look at it is to consider what interests you more. Here are some reasons parochial North and South Island residents might explain why they live where they do.

5 reasons why the North Island is the best:

  1. The beaches and surf are better and the water is warmer
  2. There’s more Maori culture to experience
  3. There are more hot pools and geothermal activity to see here
  4. Sky Tower and Auckland Harbour Bridge - Experience two of the largest man made structures in NZ
  5. The Bay of Islands…that's reason in itself to visit the North Island

5 reasons why the South Island is the best:

  1. The North Island only has 4 serious mountains. The South Island has the Southern Alps which stretches for the length of the Island.
  2. There are less people living here, which means more open spaces all to yourself.
  3. Tramping in the South Island

    The most scenic ski fields, and the most diverse club fields are in the south.
  4. Queenstown - the adventure capital of the world.
  5. The incredible diversity of nature, displayed in all its glory from the Sounds at the tip of the South Island to the Fiords at the bottom of the South Island.

Your turn:

Which do you think is best and why?

Photos from:

Sky Tower: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kclama

Comments

  • lelelele says:

    can someone tell me the strengths and weeknesses of new zealand? plz :)

    5 years ago

  • Nihoan says:

    Been living in New Zealand for two years now, and I've seen a good chunk of it. If you're making the trip for the first time, you should try and see a little of both, as they are vastly different.That being said, you should consider what you want to be able to do while you're here. If you want to see the great outdoors and the breathtaking scenery of Aotearoa, then don't bother leaving Auckland airport and head straight for the South Island. Excepting maybe downtown CHCH, you won't find any spot on that island that you can't climb on top of and get a fantastic view. It won't really matter where you decide to base out of, as the tramping is terrific everywhere you go. However, if you want a more diverse vacation and don't care to spend it all covered in sunscreen and mozzie repellant, you'll have a much greater range on the North Island. Beaches, wineries, thermal pools, shopping, cultural activities and more are far more accessible up North, and you can still go hike one of those four mountains if you feel the need! Tickets are cheap now, so get booking!

    5 years ago

    • donaldmmock says:

      Great post about New Zealand. Once planning a camping trip collected a large amount of data about this place. This is an amazing place. Choosing one part as most beautiful is the toughest task. This post has described a lot in detail. Great thing. Thank you..!! :)
      vakantievilla spanje
      http://vakantiehuizenspanje.villamar.nl/

      11 months ago

    • donaldmmock says:

      Great post about New Zealand. Once planning a camping trip collected a large amount of data about this place. This is an amazing place. Choosing one part as most beautiful is the toughest task. This post has described a lot in detail. Great thing. Thank you..!! :)

      11 months ago

    • donaldmmock says:

      Great post about New Zealand. Once planning a camping trip collected a large amount of data about this place. This is an amazing place. Choosing one part as most beautiful is the toughest task. This post has described a lot in detail. Great thing. Thank you..!! :)

      11 months ago

    • says:

      I am glad to found such useful post. I really increased my knowledge after read your post which will be beneficial for me .

      2 years ago

    • says:

      We've visited both islands. Our hands down favorite part of our journeys was hiking the Milford Track in Fiordland National Park on the South Island. I even did a blog post about the experience on http://www.boomeresque.com
      Type New Zealand in the search box.

      2 years ago

    • says:

      i am planning to go with my wife for 14days frm 18th dec,2012 to 1st jan,2013.. plz suggest me good places both in north & south nz,we are fond of both adventure & scenice beauty.. our arrival & departure is frm christchurch

      2 years ago

    • says:

      I'll be going to New Zealand for around 3 months. May to July.
      Could you guys give me pointers, scenes, activties I should try to do?? I'm just a good old College, Bachelor, single guy running on empty for money wise. haha So give me some ideas, on traveling number one....number two just good activities, places to stay!!???Thanks so muchhh!!!

      ~Tyler!

      2 years ago

    • says:

      We are running a competition to see which New Zealand island is the best!!

      Check out ratemystate.org

      3 years ago

    • says:

      We are planning to visit New Zealand south island. We are impressed with the New Zealand scenic view. When will be the best time to visit New Zealand south island with self drive tour? If we go on Christmas period, what will be the temperature like and is there a lot of raining? Is the scenery view on late December awesome? Many shops are closing that period of time? Appreciate your advice then.

      3 years ago

    • Dawnrichard says:

      if you need to go to new-zealand book your ticket from farebuzz.com

      3 years ago

    Mollom CAPTCHA

Top Travel Generation Writers

  1. 01. Jan Ross Jan Ross
    from
  2. 02. Jamie Bowlby-Whiting Jamie Bowlby-Whiting
    from a small village in rural England
  3. 03. Inka  Piegsa-Quischotte Inka Piegsa-Quischotte
    from
  4. 04. Leah Bostwick Leah Bostwick
    from Detroit, Michigan, USA
  5. 05. James Cave James Cave
    from Berlin

Top Travel Stories

  1. 01. Things You Should Know Before Traveling to China for the First Time Things You Should Know Before Traveling to China for the First Time
    by Amanda Williams
  2. 02. Otago Rail Trail: Lauder to Kokanga Otago Rail Trail: Lauder to Kokanga
    by Libby Woodard
  3. 03. New Zealand Travel Advice New Zealand Travel Advice
    by Jamie Bowlby-Whiting
  4. 04. The Best Backpacker Movies The Best Backpacker Movies
    by Brucini
  5. 05. Why Choose a Bed and Breakfast Location? Why Choose a Bed and Breakfast Location?
    by Jan Ross