The South Island of New Zealand is renowned for its mountains, lakes and glaciers. The Southern Alps, home to 3,724m-high Aoraki Mt. Cook, run along the entire length of the island. In the southwest is Fiordland National Park, with steep-sided Milford Sound. In the north is Abel Tasman National Park, known for its trails and ocean kayaking.
The South Island is the largest of the two main islands of New Zealand, and as its name indicates, is the southern-most of the two islands. It has an area of 151,215 square kilometres (58,093 square miles), making it the 12th largest island in the world.
Kaikoura, situated about halfway between and on the east coast of the South Island, offers a unique combination of ocean and mountains. The stunning coastal alpine scenery includes a host of eco-tourism activities including whale watching, dolphin swimming and seal snorkelling. Walk the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and discover seal and bird colonies along the coast.