South Island Pacific

Also known by the local Maoris as Te Wai Pounamu or Water of Greenstone, the South Island of New Zealand is 151,215 square kilometres of spectacular scenery. Ranking as the 12th largest island in the world, it's incredible diversity of landscape showcases nature at its best.

The largest city in the South Island is the garden city of Christchurch, affectionately named because of its tree-lined streets and stunning gardens. Queenstown is also found in the South Island of New Zealand, world famous as an adventure and adrenaline destination as wells as a snow/skiing mecca.

The west coast is lined by the Southern Alps mountain ranges, spectacular in scenery with massive glaciers and limestone landscapes, lakes and rivers and lush rainforest.  Often called the Sightseeing and Walking Capital of the world, the World Heritage Fiordland National Park covers 1.2 million hectares of the South Island and showcases dramatic wilderness on a grand scale.

Weather in South Island Pacific

New Zealand's climate is dominated by two main geographical features: the mountains and the sea. It's mostly mild temperatures can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in.

While most of the South Island experiences these mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine due to its coastal positioning, temperatures can be as cold as -10 C in winter.

The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20 - 30°C and in winter between 10 - 15°C.

Depending on the type of experience you are seeking the summer and spring months of September to February is the best time to travel for exploring the country and scenic landscapes. If you are seeking a winter wonderland, then late autumn through winter (from May to August) will offer snow activities galore.

The seasons generally fall:
Spring - September, October, November
Summer - December, January, February
Autumn - March, April, May
Winter - June, July, August

South Island Pacific

Mangamaunu

Surf Skill:
3
Break:
Right
Surf Type:
  • Shortboarders
Season:
Mar - May
More

Mangamaunu is an absolutely cracking right-hander. It is a long, perfect point break that is very consistent and only fifteen minutes drive from Kaikoura.

Find out more about this break

Less
South Island Pacific

Motunau Beach

Surf Skill:
2
Break:
Right/Left
Surf Type:
  • Bodyboarders
  • Longboarders
  • Shortboarders
Season:
Mar - May, Sep - Nov
More

Motunau Beach is only an hours drive from Christchurch and is home to a couple of different options.

Find out more about this break

Less
Nearby Accommodation
Back to top