Carved by glaciers many thousands of years ago, lakes Wanaka, Hawea, Wakatipu, Te Anau and Manapouri are set in a landscape that is magnificent even by New Zealand standards. Hub of the region is Queenstown which not only enjoys a marvellous setting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, but also offers superb skiing in winter and a dazzling array of outdoor activities in summer.
To the north and south-west of Queenstown are the untamed wilderness areas of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. The former impresses with the splendour of its alpine scenery, whereas the latter is renowned for its spectacular fiords and evergreen rainforests.
Even if time does not allow for the walk along Fiordland’s famous Milford Track, no visitor should leave the region without taking a cruise on Milford Sound. The scenery is quite stunning and makes a visit to this fiord one of the absolute highlights of any trip to New Zealand.