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Southland Native Russell Herbert Jack Reveals Best Adventures on New Zealand’s South Island

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New Zealand’s South Island has earned its reputation as a place of raw natural beauty. This is also a highly regarded destination for outdoor activities and scenic adventures. In this article, Russell Jack, Southland-based yoga teacher and travel enthusiast, shares his top 6 destinations for those who are interested in learning about South Island’s attractions so that they can begin planning a trip.

Aoraki/Mount Cook

Come experience the awesome splendor of New Zealand’s highest peak — Aoraki or Mount Cook. You can explore on foot, from the air, or even by boat. If you go at night, be sure to stop by Mt. John Observatory for your chance to see the clear and open starlit skies. This is a once-in-a-lifetime, jaw-droppingly beautiful experience that absolutely will connect you with the beauty of nature.

Stewart Island Birdwatching

Stewart Island is home to New Zealand’s most diverse and largest bird population. You will see birds here you have never even heard of. You’ll also see penguins and kiwis. Stewart Island features 240km of walking trails for you to explore beaches and rainforests. Keep an eye out for the New Zealand Robin. They will fly right up to you without hesitation.

Hokitika Gorge

Do yourself a favor and Google Hokitika Gorge right now. Incredible, right? The brilliant turquoise water is enough to make you stop in your tracks. The Hokitika River is known for being dangerous yet stunning. The gorge is also surrounded by a lush forest great for hikes with the family.

Abel Tasman National Park

Visiting Abel Tasman National Park is an exciting adventure waiting to happen. You can sail or kayak the open waters. You will even get the chance to see seals and dolphins at play. Once you’re ready to get out of the water, the park offers a hiking trail that follows the coastline through the bush, cliffs, and golden beaches.


Heli-biking is a unique way to soak in the South Island’s beauty. Fly up to 6,000 feet before you bike down. While you’re up there you will take in 360-degree views of trails and New Zealand beauty. You won’t want to come back down!

Soak in Fiordland National Park

This park is a famous UNESCO World Heritage site. Soak in Fiordland National Park is known for its glacier-carved fjord. It can be explored by air, by boat, or on foot. If you go by boat, you will get to soak in the beauty of majestic waterfalls along the way.

New Zealand’s South Island is a unique destination with breathtaking beauty you won’t find anywhere in the world. So pack your bags, don’t forget this list, and please — send us a postcard!

About Russell Herbert Jack
Russell Herbert Jack is a 24-year-old yoga instructor and mindfulness teacher from Southland, New Zealand. He is passionate about spirituality, the vegan lifestyle, animal rights, and living in sync with nature. Russell specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations. Russell loves living in Southland, New Zealand because he is devoted to living in harmony with himself and with nature and sharing this passion and way of life with others. His classes will help you think clearer, improve memory and concentration, and improve your physical health and mental well-being and help you become more in-tune with the beauty of nature as well.

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