New Zealand may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

Holidays in South Island

Choose two or more items and save on your trip:

South Island Vacation: Coronavirus Information

Most South Island hotels offer free cancellation. Consider booking refundable hotels rather than non-refundable ones. Just look for the ‘free cancellation’ message during your hotel search. Prices can vary, but right now we believe that flexibility matters.

For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on your South Island trip, please visit our Coronavirus Information page.

Top South Island Flight & Hotel Packages

U Suites Kilbirnie
Ohtel Wellington
Q Hotel
QT Wellington Apartments
U Residence Hotel

Top hotels in South Island

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
4 out of 5
Corner of Earl and Marine Parade, Queenstown
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$174 per night from 17 Jan. to 18 Jan.
4.3/5Excellent! (997 reviews)

"Such friendly people, really accommodating. Plus the location was amazing - the beach and kids park was 1 min away, and the waterfront only 2 mins including all the restaurants and bars etc. We will definitely stay there again next time. Bonus having a spa available too."…"

Reviewed on 15 Jan. 2021

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Holiday Inn Express And Suites Queenstown
Holiday Inn Express And Suites Queenstown
4 out of 5
CNR STANLEY AND SYDNEY STREET, Queenstown
Free cancellation
The price is AU$127 per night from 15 Feb. to 16 Feb.
4.7/5Exceptional! (65 reviews)

"Very modern place to stay and excellent facilities"…"

Reviewed on 13 Jan. 2021

Holiday Inn Express And Suites Queenstown
Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
Kawarau Village, 79 Peninsula Road, Queenstown
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$141 per night from 22 Jan. to 23 Jan.
4.4/5Excellent! (990 reviews)

"Well appointed room and very pleasant, welcoming, friendly staff."…"

Reviewed on 13 Jan. 2021

Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
0

Top activities in South Island

South Island Holiday

Larger, less populated and harder to reach than the northern “Main Island,” this area features New Zealand’s longest glacier, its highest mountain and much more. The landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island are hard to believe. Perhaps this is why New Zealand film director Peter Jackson featured them so often in his world-famous adaptations of the fantasy book trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Massive peaks rising out of plains, crystal-clear mountain lakes and near vertical-faced fjords all await you on New Zealand’s less populated but more picturesque island.

Begin by discovering the island’s Pacific Coast. Christchurch is the largest city on South Island and the second largest in New Zealand. Enjoy the massive Botanic Gardens of the “Garden City,” and then travel nearly a kilometre out of town by gondola to get an overhead view of Crater Rim, a collapsed volcano to the east. If you’re looking for more of a beach town, drive south along the coast to Dunedin. Surf on St. Clair Beach, then head into town to enjoy its heritage buildings and Scottish charm.

Running all the way along South Island is a dramatic mountain range that rises abruptly from the eastern plains. Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, stands at the heart of the range. Hike along one of the many lakes nestled at the foot of the mountains, like Lake Wanaka. Come during winter to ski down from the mountains while you overlook this 75-square-mile (193-square-kilometre) body of crystalline glacier water.

Take a long mountain drive to Fiordland National Park in the island’s southwest for even more breathtaking sights. Here, the towering mountains have been carved into sheer cliffs shooting up from the shores of inlets from the Tasman Sea. Milford Sound is perhaps the most beautiful, as its high annual rainfall causes giant waterfalls to stream down from the cliffs. Do some hiking around the area. When night falls, take a tour of the nearby Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

The South Island has direct flights to the North Island and Australia from Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. The South Island may be harder to reach and larger than its northern neighbour, but the views here are more than worth the extra effort.

Frequently asked questions

How much does a South Island holiday package cost?
Our South Island packages, which start at just AU$1,314, are the best way to save. All you have to do is choose your favourite hotels, flights and rental car to create your perfect escape.
If I'm not able to travel, can I cancel my South Island holiday package?
You can amend or cancel your booking, but whether you’ll be charged a fee will depend on what and when you booked. If you’ve locked in a South Island holiday package in the last 24 hours, it may be possible to change your itinerary for free. If it’s been more than 24 hours, your hotel, airline or car rental company may impose a charge. Check out our Customer Service Portal to find out more.
How do I get a cheap travel package to South Island?
If you’re eager to save up to $200, combine your bookings into a South Island holiday package. Whether you need flights, hotels, rental cars or activities, you can browse and book everything in one place. You’ll have a wealth of choice at your fingertips as well. Expedia has over 400 air carriers and 1 000 000 hotel options across the globe to take your pick of. Fly with who you want, check in where you like and save some cash — now that’s the ideal escape!
Where should I stay in South Island?
To see popular attractions such as Mona Vale and New Brighton Beach, Christchurch is where you need to be. Lots of travellers also rave about Dunedin, home to St. Clair Beach and Larnach Castle. If time isn’t an issue, why not visit both cities?
What are the top hotels in South Island?
When it comes to hotels in Christchurch, Sudima Christchurch Airport and Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch are two terrific options. If you’re also heading to Queenstown, Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown and Heritage Queenstown look forward to welcoming you.
When is the best time of year to visit South Island?
is known to be the high season in South Island, while is generally a lot quieter. If you’re hunting for a great deal on your South Island escape, consider the month of . It’s also worth noting that is usually the priciest time of year to visit.
How far in advance should I book my South Island holiday?
It can be difficult to know when the best time is to book your holiday to South Island. But generally the earlier you book, the lower the prices. In some cases, you can book your flights and hotels nearly a year before departure. If you’re considering a last-minute getaway, no need to panic! There are terrific bargains advertised on Expedia all the time.
What does an Expedia South Island travel package include?
That depends on you. You can select from a variety of South Island bundles, such as a flight, hotel and rental car. You can also book a hotel and a flight, or a flight with a rental car. Once you’ve made your booking, you can add on the fun stuff like activities and experiences. Whatever your dream South Island break looks like, you’ll save!
What should I know before booking a South Island travel package?
A travel package can be easier on the hip pocket than individually booking all you need for your getaway. For example, combine your hotels, flights and rental cars and score big savings. Whatever type of holiday you have in mind, you’re sure to find a package that matches your budget.
Does Expedia offer Book Now, Pay Later South Island holiday packages?
Your bank balance shouldn’t prevent you from getting the best out of your holiday, so Expedia has come up with a plan to help. Thanks to our partnership with online lender Affirm, it’s easier than ever to book a great getaway that won’t hurt your savings. Just Book Now, Pay Later and take the hassle out of budgeting for your journey.
Can I choose my airline with a South Island Expedia holiday package?
You can. We have more than 550 airline partners across the globe, so go with the carrier that matches your travel needs.