Check out our AA Traveller Guides Editor's picks of the top 5 experiences not to be missed in the Upper South Island!
1. Queen Charlotte Track
The Queen Charlotte Track boasts stunning bush and incredible views in a lovely climate. Hike or bike this 72km/three to five-day track skimming the coastline, making pauses for swims almost mandatory. There are many entry points accessible by boat, which can also transport kayaks and mountain bikes.
2. Motueka Sunday Market
The Motueka Sunday Market is where great local purveyors convene. Discover a mecca of seasonal produce, hand-spun crafts and flea market bargains. Every Sunday, 8am-1pm.
3. Punakāiki Pancake Rocks
A series of rocks that resemble stacked pancakes, albeit ‘made’ 30 million years ago. The famous Pancake Rocks are joined by erupting blowholes and a ferocious surge pool called the Devil's Cauldron.
4. Kaikōura Whale Watching
Giant sperm whales are present all year round at Kaikōura as are dolphins, seals and penguins. Depending on the season there are albatross and additional whale species to be spotted, too. See it all from boat tours, small planes or kayaks.
5. Riverside Market, Christchurch
Riverside Market is an unmissable seven-day indoor farmers’ market fronting the banks of the Ōtakaro Avon River. Foodies will be enthralled by charismatic chefs, food choice and purveyors.