WIth dramatic mountain peaks, gleaming glaciers, pristine lakes, and fjords that jut into chilly waters, it’s not a stretch to say that New Zealand’s South Island is one of the world’s greatest adventure destinations. In fact, lakeside Queenstown has a reputation for being an adrenaline junkie’s paradise—bungy jumping, skydiving, and canyon swinging are year-round temptations.
But you can explore the South Island’s mellower—and astoundingly gorgeous—side, too. Stay in sprawling country estates as you sip your way across the wine country in the north. Sail through the fjords—or, if you’re craving a different kind of breathtaking view, fly over them in a chartered helicopter tour. Visit in the springtime to spy baby seals sunning themselves on rocky headlands and, more inland, lambs dotting the green hills. Everywhere you turn, there’s an unbelievable view sure to stun.