For most visitors to New Zealand, the town of Picton and Picton cruise port are used for exploring the greater Marlborough region. As one of the South Island’s northernmost towns, cruise ships and large ferries to Wellington regularly frequent the protected harbor, and the town buzzes during the summer months with holiday-seekers transiting from one island to the next. The port is also popular with cruise ship passengers embarking on shore excursions to the Marlborough wine region, and independent travelers will similarly find enough things to do in Picton to warrant hanging in the area for a couple of days.
Despite the number of land-based adventures and its rugged, mountainous terrain, the South Island of New Zealand is the perfect place for cruising during the October-April summer cruising season. Each of the cruise ports on the South Island offer their own distinct adventures which highlight the regional differences of the island, and on many days the view from port looks up towards the snowcapped flanks of the Southern Alps. When choosing a boat for cruising the South Island it’s important to consider which places you’d like to see, as smaller cruise boats are able to visit ports which might otherwise be inaccessible to larger cruise liners.
With an entire network of rivers cascading down from the Southern Alps, and only a million residents in an area the size of New York, the South Island of New Zealand is a rugged paradise for river pursuits suck as kayaking, boating, and white water rafting.
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Seeing as it’s one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, there are a number of first time visitor tips for the South Island of New Zealand that will help new travelers enjoy their time in the country.
A city established by Scottish immigrants and a former Gold Rush boomtown, there was once a time when Dunedin was the largest city in New Zealand. Situated in the southeastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island, this city which was named after Edinburgh (Dunedin is an approximation of the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh) today boasts a multi-national population and serves as the South Island’s center of academia. The University of Otago is located in Dunedin, and the city retains a youthful energy given that 20% of the population is of high school or University age.