South Island

The South Island is the largest island, but only 25% of the entire country's population live there.  This make the roughly 1 million residents here in the minority, as they are out-populated by the sheep, deer and cattle,


This wasn't always the case, though, during the 19th century, due to the discovery of gold.  Dunedin became the wealthiest city in the country, and more than half of the population lived in the South Island.  As well as many european residents, many thousand chinese workers migrated to work the mines, which added to the population.  The North Island population overtook the South in the early 20th century, and the exodus continued slowly for the rest of the 20th century, leading to the current situation.


The South Island is divided into 7 local government areas, starting at the north  with the smallest region, Nelson, then north to south, Tasman, Marlborough, West Coast, Canterbury, Otago and finally Southland in the south, which includes Stewart Island.  There are only 5 cities in the South Island, Nelson, Timaru, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. All the cities, other than Queenstown, and most of the large towns, are located on the eastern costal plains, this is due to the central mountain range that runs the entire length of the island.


The Islands weather is mainly temperate, with wetter, cooler and cloudier climate in the south of the island, and is warmer, sunnier and drier in the north.  The Southern Alps mountain range, that runs north-east to south-west down the island, is snow covered all year round, and the glaciers, the major ones being Fox and Franz Josef in the west, and the Tasman, Hooker, Mueller and Murchison in the east, fluctuate with the seasons. Glacial erosion over thousands of years, has left a rugged landscape that is now lush, green steep valleys, and over 4,000 lake-filled basins, creating stunning scenery and breathtaking views.


Cruising around New Zealand.


There are several companies offering cruises around the beautiful coast of New Zealand, some with small, more intimate ships as well as the huge ocean liners.  The smaller ships can get much closer to the coast line and dock at smaller towns with personal guided shore excursions, whereas the large, luxury liners tend to concentrate on the larger towns and cities, with planned shore excursions.


Depending on your preference, you decide what type of ship and cruise you would like to experience.



Island Escape Cruises


Island Escape Cruises are a privately-owned small ship cruise company, based in New Zealand who offer 7 and 10-night cruises around New Zealand and French Polynesia.


For further details of these cruises, and the full itineraries, please click Here.


Prices on the following pages


The prices are all based on the UK Pound to the NZ$ exchange rate as of the 1st January 2016, but the exchange rates are changing on an almost daily basis, which means the prices could be lower or higher than we have quoted in our pricing tables.  Prices quoted are as guide only, and may change at any time without notice due to increases by the supplier or differences in the exchange rates.  Please contact us get a confirmed price at todays rates for your preferred property or service.

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