In pictures: The stunning beauty of New Zealand’s South Island

FROM its beautiful aquamarine lakes to dramatic high country and snow capped mountains, the south island of New Zealand is a region that offers enough scenic variety to startle, charm and inspire. These images display the adventure, solitude and wildlife of the nation.

“From the mountain ranges
To the valleys and the plains
The spirit of New Zealand
Is sacred to our land.”
— Darryn John Murphy

The view from above: Lake Wakatipu between the clouds on a flight to Dunedin.


Counting sheep – a common sight across the south island.


A seal – one of numerous wildlife that call the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin home.

Kayakers in Doubtful Sound.

There’s a real purity in New Zealand that doesn’t exist in the States. It’s actually not an easy thing to find in our world anymore. It’s a unique place because it is so far away from the rest of the world. There is a sense of isolation and also being protected.
Elijah Wood

The Skyline Gondola whisks visitors up Bob’s Peak for a view over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

The stunning peaks of Milford Sound.

New Zealand is not a small country but a large village.
Peter Jackson

Mountain bikers negotiating the Arrow River.

Hikers on the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.


Fly Fishing in the growing dusk at Paradise.

“God of Nations at Thy feet, In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat, God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific’s triple star, From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar, God defend New Zealand.”
— Thomas Bracken

Cheeky Keas often keep hikers company on the south island’s many walks.


Quiet and beautiful Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu.


Aoraki / Mt Cook – New Zealand’s highest peak.


Dawn over bikes on the Otago Central Rail Trail – a popular four day trail.

All images are taken by Joanne Lane of Visited Planet –