The long stretch of the Southern Alps has so much to offer that it would be difficult to see it all on a short visit. However, some sites stand out along the 500 km stretch of the ranges. If you are a first time visitor, here are some tourist destinations you should put at the top of your list.
This one comes at the top of almost every review that you will come across. Standing at 12,218 ft., this is the highest peak of the New Zealand ranges. Here, you can take a walk or hike around the 273-sq. mile national park that surrounds the Aoraki village. You can heli-ski in the winter or take a flight above the ranges in clear weather.
It is a tiny museum, but its intriguing design is something you are unlikely to find elsewhere. It focuses on the region’s history. Here, you will get a slight feel of even the places you won’t manage to visit during your stay. There are artefacts from the gold-rush period and a complete streetscape underground exhibiting how blacksmithing was done in the area.
Guides at the information centre are ready with exciting facts to share about the history of the ranges, both mythical and factual. You may even try gold panning at the Arrow River, where a visitor in 2006 collected a nugget and sold it for NZ$15,000.
This spacious establishment has some of the best wines and a fine restaurant that has accumulated awards over the years, with its ‘Trust the Chef’ foods earning positive reviews from multiple reviewers. The panoramic mountain and lake views will give you unforgettable memories.
This is the perfect spot to take a breath as you tour various sites in the south. There is a café that offers both outdoor and indoor seating with a backdrop of the beautiful mountains. A full-dome planetarium shows movies in 3D. You can learn even more about the Alps by visiting the museum or the Hillary Gallery here.