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4 Great Activities to Try This Autumn in the South Island

21st Mar 14

In New Zealand, the most remarkable season is autumn, particularly in the South Island where mountain ranges and farmland turn into a spectacular canvas filled with luscious reds, rich golden hues and stunning shades of orange.

Here we've compiled a list of some of our favourite things to do on a campervan holiday during the fall months in the South Island.

The Arrowtown Autumn Festival

Autumn Scene in New Zealand
Arrowtown began as a bustling gold-mining community in the late 1800's. Settlers came from all over the world to make their fortunes. While they were there, they planted many European trees in the area to remind them of home. As a result, the town becomes absolutely radiant during autumn.

The beautiful fall colours inspired residents of Arrowtown to create a festival celebrating the coming of autumn. With around 50 events over 10 days, the Arrowtown Autumn Festival has something for everyone.

Free activities include aerobatic and classic car displays, street parades and entertainment, art workshops, events for children and guided walks.

There are concerts and special workshops that require paid tickets, but these are offered at an affordable price and not to be missed.

Take a scenic drive

The South Island is criss-crossed with hundreds of beautiful roads and highways that are perfect for taking in the beautiful scenery and the colours of autumn.

A campervan is the perfect vehicle for a trip. New Zealand Travel Insider has a great list of recommended scenic drives to choose from and follow. Take the time to make stops and take pictures, or have a picnic outside.

Take a walk or run

Mountainous and hilly regions dominate the South Island. For those keen on walking and tramping, a guided walk can be arranged or choose a peak to conquer at These range from easy 1-2 hour trips to 2 day return hikes that can only be traversed by those with a high degree of experience.

Remember to take enough food and pack for weather that can change in an instant. Don't forget your camera!

Kaituna Ridges Ramble

Walk or bike over this 800 hectare farm on a clearly marked track. Take in the views on the ridgelines and enjoy a snack, drink and sandwich from the Pelorus Community School at the finish.

  • When: 12th April, 7:30am-3:00pm
  • Where: Kaituna Ridges farm, 76 Readers Road, Havelock, Marlborough, Marlborough Sounds
  • Website: Kaituna Ridges Ramble

Absolute Wilderness Adventure race

Challenge yourself on this adventure race that includes mountain biking, hiking, navigating and kayaking round a set course. Some level of fitness is required and you must have your own mountain bike.

  • When: 26th April, 6:00am - 27th April, 1:00pm
  • Where: Murchison Sport, Recreation & Cultural Centre, Hampden St, Nelson Lakes
  • WebsiteAbsolute Wilderness

These may require you to sign up, so make sure to do so with plenty of time, or come along and cheer from the sidelines.

Do you have any favourite autumn activities in the South Island? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credits:

Arrowtown by Los viajes del Cangrejo, CC-BY-2.0


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Filed under New Zealand Travel

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