From alpine lakes to sunken valleys, the South Island serves up seven days of astounding scenery, adrenaline adventures and great food
“People come here and say they drove in Australia and the scenery didn’t change all day. In New Zealand it changes around every damn bend!”
This is Noel, who runs the Wine, Art & Wilderness tour company in Nelson, in the far north of NZ’s South Island. When I meet him I’ve just spent a week with my boyfriend Gavin driving the Top of the South touring route, from quake-hit Christchurch and whale-watching hub Kaikoura, through alpine terrain and the country’s biggest wine region, to end in this city famed for art, food and sunshine. We’ve jet boated through rapids, bathed in thermal pools, biked between vineyards and kayaked in the Marlborough Sounds.