Unique Places in South Island

  • Small but lovely: St. Kentigern.
    Small but lovely: St. Kentigern.
    by Kakapo2
  • Moeraki Boulders
    Moeraki Boulders
    by Robmj
  • New Zealand fur seal basking on Tonga Island
    New Zealand fur seal basking on Tonga...
    by JohanIsWeg

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in South Island

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    The curling capital of New Zealand

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Feb 9, 2012

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    When gold was discovered in in 1863.in a valley in the foothills of the Mt Ida Range in Central Otago it wasn't long before the town now known as Naseby quickly began to grow as prospectors followed their dreams. The field here proved to be so rich and extensive that the town ended up being moved as the workings grew and grew. The little town retains much of its charm with so many buildings remaining from this era that virtually the whole of the centre of the town dates from gold rush days. The newer buildings are sheltered by the trees of the Naseby forest and there are many interesting walks in the area that take in well-preserved and documented workings and other remnants of the gold-rush days. The little Settlers museum is also worth a visit.

    Naseby is popular holiday territory for New Zealanders when the permanent population of less than100 can grow to to over 4000 as the cribs (NZ-speak for holiday cottages), campground and hotels fill up. Things get busy again in winter as the town is a centre for ancient Scottish sport of curling. Mountain biking is another popular activity in the area - one that causes a bit of friction as bikers, in search of new challenges, have not always been inclined to stay within designated areas and have left a trail of damage on many of the walking tracks.

    Naseby is about a 2 hour drive from Queenstown, less from Alexandria

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    Dunedin - Larnach Castle Gardens

    by amandajayne81 Written Feb 9, 2009

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    We only paid to tour the gardens. The handout that is provided is extremely informative and we had a great time. Would highly recommend.

    The following info is off the website

    Gardens & Grounds Only (self-guided)

    Entry to the Castle's gardens and grounds, ballroom cafe, historic stables and outbuildings. Informative garden and native plant trail brochures and maps provided to assist with exploring the gardens and grounds. Pre-bookings not required.

    Adult $10.00
    Child (5-14) $ 3.00

    Child (0-4) Free
    Season Pass (12 months from date of issue) $30.00

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    Scenery during the drive

    by amandajayne81 Written Feb 7, 2009

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    The day we drove from Fox Glacier to Haast we passed some awesome scenery down the West Coast. This place was called Knight's Point Lookout and was great to spend a few minutes admiring before heading off on our way. Like most things in NZ it had a little parking area and info boards that explained what you were looking at.

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    Thunder Falls

    by amandajayne81 Written Feb 7, 2009

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    We drove from Fox Glacier down to Haast and were constantly stopping at touristy signposted places and having to walk just a minute or two before being confronted with another gorgeous sight. Unfortunately often there was also a tourist bus full of people there too. This one was great.

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  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
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    Gold Fever

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Apr 25, 2006

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    For a short time in the 1860s, Otago was in the grip of a fabulously rich gold rush. People flocked here from all over the world and towns sprang up wherever a rich supply gold was found. Some survived the end of the rush and went on to become permanent townships. Others emptied as the gold failed and there was nothing else to keep people there. Macetown was one such town and now all there is of a once thriving community is some stone buildings, scores of exotic trees planted by long-gone townsfolk and boards telling the story of the town.

    Macetown is only accessible by 4WD. You can drive yourself. Alternatively, tours up to Macetown run out of Arrowtown. Hotel pickups from Queenstown can be arranged. The four hour trip takes you through the rugged and beautiful Arrow Gorge, crossing and recrossing the river as you go. On the way you'll have the chance to pan for gold yourself in the river -you never know - you might be lucky enough to find a speck or two - and you can keep what you find.
    Contact any tourist office or the Arrowtown Information Centre for details.

    leyle

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    • Historical Travel

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  • pepples46's Profile Photo

    go Bush

    by pepples46 Updated Jan 17, 2006

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    great hiking and walking trekks in the South Island, nature galore, getting away from it all
    Abel Tasman,Mt Aspiring, Westland and Heaphy track and the smaller Keplar track at Milford Sound to name some

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    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Dansey Hotel

    by pepples46 Updated Jan 1, 2006

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    great Lunch and fine Accommodation, I loved the Breakfast too.a very importand stopover for the Horsecarriages in the 19th century. changeover for the Horses and a bite for the Drivers. nowadays our 4X4 does the drip easy in a couple of hours
    there are wonderful walkways around the Hotel..enjoy!

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    • Food and Dining
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    • Adventure Travel

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    Fruit and wine ...

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Oct 24, 2005

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    ... are what Cromwell is all about. Set on the banks of the huge Clyde Dam - the town was actualy moved when the dam was built and its central area flooded - the area around the small town is the centre of New Zealand's orchard industry and the fastest growing wine production region in the country.
    Like nearly all the towns in Central Otago, it was gold that first brought people here. Nowadays, changing seasons see the slopes and valley bright with the golden leaves of autumn colour after the harvest of the stone fruit and grapes that bring their own gold to the orchards and vineyards - and the bank balances of those who grow them.

    Tourism is bringing more wealth to the region. When the old town was flooded a small group of buildings was able to be saved to become Old Cromwell Town, a place for local craftspeople to work, cottage industries to find a home and special events to be staged.
    This is the only historic gold town to have survived the flooding of the valley. So far nine buildings have been carefully restored or reconstructed. For those who prefer their history a little less manicured there is plenty of evidence of the goldrush days to be found in the tailings and ruined cottages that dot the landscape.

    Cromwell lies just off the main road between Queenstown and Wanaka. Stop on the way into the town to buy some of the delicious fruit from the roadside sellers.

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    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Backpacking

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  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    The Roaring '60s

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Oct 15, 2005

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    This little building was the Gold Office in St Bathans, a wee (favourite NZ word that) town in Central Otago. Once a thousand people lived here and there were more than 40 business establishments in the town - all due to the gold that was discovered here in 1862. Now the population is no more than 10 , only the post office and the pub (the Vulcan -which claims to be haunted) remain in business and the police station and gaol are a let out as a holiday cottage. It's been a long time since a prospector brought gold to the bank, and the pit that the miners created when they completely dug away a 120metre hill and kept digging to a depth of nearly 70 metres is now a lake of the most amazing blue as a result of the minerals that leach into its waters.
    Folk come to swim and jet-ski, the Vulcan serves a good pint and tasty pies and you could do worse than spend a night or two here, using the comfortable cottage as a base to explore the region or simply enjoy the peace and beauty of this remote and lovely part of the country.

    St Bathans is about 45 mins drive from Alexandria

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  • kiwi's Profile Photo

    St Bathans in Otago

    by kiwi Written Dec 29, 2004

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    New Zealand doesn't have a long history, however what little we have is worth visiting. Here in the midst of Central Otago is an old gold mining hotel, from the 1860's.
    St Bathans is inland from Oamaru in the South Island. You need time to visit this area, and you need a vehicle. If you have both, then be sure to call at the Vulcan Hotel. They say it has a ghost!!

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    • Historical Travel

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    Peel Forest

    by allikat Written Mar 15, 2004

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    Peel Forest is about halfway between the towns of Timaru and Christchurch, via the back roads. Its a great spot for walking, picnicking and just enjoying the outdoors. Several waymarked trails through the trees, and open spaces too.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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  • pepples46's Profile Photo

    old Museum

    by pepples46 Updated Feb 21, 2004

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    at the shores of Lake Dunstan, just outside of Cromwell, when the Clyde Dam was build, many parts of the area where floaded, some historical buildings where pulled down build up again in safer parts on the Lake, like the old Museum with artefacts of the beginnings and settlement in Central Otago.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Rakaia Hutts

    by pepples46 Updated Nov 28, 2003

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    where the Rakaia River flows into the Ocean. for generations,Christchurch people build wee hutts around here...a Crib, in the local lingo
    walk through native Bushland..25km from Christchurch City..good fishing Spot

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    • Adventure Travel
    • Fishing

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  • pepples46's Profile Photo

    Lake Ida

    by pepples46 Updated Jun 20, 2003

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    and Lake Coleridge..high Country lakes, good for fishing, camping and for weekend hunting. information can be obtained at the Colaridge Village. Lake Ida will freeze over in harsh winters, a winter spectacle for Christchurch people, skating all day long..around 1 1/2h easy drive north-west of Christchurch..and the sunsets are....beautiful

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Camping

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    Tonga Bay Beach

    by sierralyndon Written Mar 12, 2003

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    Tonga Bay Beach among one of the many beautiful stretches of beach in the Abel Tasman National Park. We kind of just stumbled on it on our hike through the bush.

    A very tranquil and peaceful place. Admittedly even in the summer (late December) there was no way I would have gone in the water...far too cold. But many people were out canoeing and stuff.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Hiking and Walking

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South Island Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of South Island off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for South Island sightseeing.
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