Although it’s occasionally possible to see the Aurora Australis from the lower North Island, some of the best places to view it are:
Stewart Island – the further south you go, the better your chances
Tekapo – famous for clear stargazing nights
The Catlins – an isolated coastal area way down south
Wrap up warm on your southern light adventure in a cosy men’s or women’s down jacket.
Best time to see: March to September (at around midnight)
Celebrate the past (or is that the future?)
Kick off your NZ getaway at a winter festival with a difference. Small town New Zealand shows its slightly off-beat colours at the Steampunk Festival in Oamaru.
A subgenre of science fiction that embraces the designs and technologies of 19th century industrial, steam-powered machinery, the Southern Hemisphere’s longest running Steampunk fiesta began with a party and a bronze beer mug.
When to go: Late May/Early June
Drive a Southern Alps highway
Not to be missed, there are three alpine passes in the South Island and all are spectacular. However, they do have their subtle differences:
Lewis Pass – the most northern crossing with hot spring spots along the journey
Arthur’s Pass – the central route with a steep viaduct and opportunities to encounter kea