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The Great New Zealand Travel Guide For the South Island

Welcome to the Great New Zealand Travel Guide for the South Island region, New Zealand's oldest ancestral land.

For those of you that enjoyed and found very useful our first publication of the Great New Zealand Travel Guide for the North Island.

we thank you for your patience and positive feedback.

This NZ travel guide will follow the same successful theme as the North Island Guide, by providing historical, as well as current travel information on each major South Island region, starting from the top of the island and moving down to the bottom.

There are numerous, smaller eco-gems within these regions that we will let you discover for yourself when you visit on your New Zealand travel.

So please bookmark this page, and check back regularly, as we update and re-new travel information as it comes to hand...Enjoy

Soil and sun, forest and sea remain the ingrediants of the good life of the Nelson area today, just as they were for the first Polynesians arrivals.

With less than three percent of New Zealand's population, this is one of the least crowded and most relaxing regions for the traveller.

When young Thomas Arnold, son of Dr Thomas Arnold of Rugby, set foot here as a prospective colonist in 1848, he wrote: "To the stranger, the climate has a sort of an intoxicating effect; you feel as if the burden of life and human cares were suddenly thrown off, and as if you had nothing to do now but enjoy yourself. 'He might have been writing of Nelson today.

There are native parks stretching over two-thirds of a million hectares, which contain a wealth of unspoiled wilderness.

Most low lying land near Nelson city is extensively cultivated and extravagantly fruitful. Native Nelson is to be found mainly within two national parks and two vast forest parks, one of which is the largest in New Zealand.

Together these citadels of the natural world total hundreds of thousands of hectares. Furthermore, the wilderness here has never been packaged and marketed as that of Mount Cook or Milford Sounds.

Next New Zealand travel destination is magical seascape of the Marlborough Sounds, which have inspired centuries of legend, from the Polynesian arrivals to modern times.

There are two creation stories about the tangle of waterways called the Marlborough Sounds. The first is from the Maori.

It seems that before humans walked abroad on the earth, a party of adventurous gods mounted a canoe excursion here from the heavens.

But things went awry, and they eventually wrecked their canoe. The Marlborough Sounds are the carved fragments of the shattered prow.

The geological story isn't too dissimilar. It holds that the Sounds are the shattered remains of mountain ranges that collided with what is now the North Island.

The separation of the South Island, and later the rise of the world's waters after the last ice-age, turned precipitous mountain spurs into islands; beating waves modeled smaller spurs into bony reefs; valleys became deep-water bays.

Everywhere the remnant land rises sharply from the sea, displaying its alpine past; there is next to no lowland. The few human communities here have been established on sandy scraps of level shore.

Either way, as divine debris or as geological record, the result is magical.

Next New Zealand travel stop-over is Westland or to most New Zealanders, the West Coast.

Westland was always a place for the rest of New Zealand to plunder. First greenstone, then gold, finally coal and timber.

With gold gone, timber and coal providing fewer livelihoods, little seems left for the traditional coaster, the feller of forest, brewer of coal, panner of gold, hunter of wild pig and deer, and dab hand with a net when whitebait run up the rivers in spring.

At least the dramatic territory remains intact - the booming shore, the breathtaking forests and lakes, the glittering glaciers and gleaming alps.

Intact too, are the characteristics of the Coaster, not least their friendliness to outsiders.

Further South Island - New Zealand Travel regions will be added soon - Thank you for your patience

Christchurch Chatham Islands Lake Wanaka Dunedin Milford Sound Fiordland Invercargill Stewart Island

The Great New Zealand Travel Guide for the North Island.

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