Community Magazine

Five Free Things to Do in the South Island

By Eemusings @eemusings

The thing about our country, if you’re a tourist, is that it will squeeze you for all you’re worth. That said, there are still things to see and do for free (and if you’re the outdoorsy type, there are countless trails and parks and beaches to explore).

Write your name on the rocks at Byron Bay on the West Coast

bruce bay names on rocks

We drove past this beach, marvelling at all the smooth white pebbles –  and it took a few seconds to click to the fact that they all had writing on them. Travellers have apparently been carving their names into the rocks for years, or writing on them using markers. We had neither a permanent marker nor knife with which to scratch the date and our initials, sadly.

Explore the trails in Mt Aspiring National Park

mt aspiring national park thunder creek falls trail
There’s no shortage of spots to do so. Lots of smaller/shorter ones can be found toward the top end around Haast.

Check out the Catlins

catlins, nugget point lookout

The Catlin coast at the southern end of the country is home to seals, penguins and other wildlife. You probably won’t be rubbing noses with them, but seeing them in their natural habitat is truly awe inspiring.

Pub crawl in Queenstown

pub crawl in queenstown

Pick up an attraction brochure (probably a Jasons one) in Queenstown and you’ll see ads for a couple of different pub crawls.

Think along the lines of six free drinks, free food and plenty of company.

Marvel at the raw power – and beauty – of the pancake rocks

pancake rocks

I’m pretty sure my mouth was agape for the entire time it took us to walk around this clifftop track. At high tide, the ocean rushes into the channels, throwing sea spray all up the sides, and blows off pressure through the naturally formed blowholes. And you’ll probably encounter some friendly native birds!

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