Buyers interested in property for sale in the South Island of New Zealand have a wide selection of regions and property styles to consider. The South Island has arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in New Zealand – the Southern Alps, lakes, glaciers and skiing mountains make an amazing backdrop to most properties. The climate, landscape and economic activity different across the various regions and are often determining factors to the regional area that buyers focus on. If you are new to the market and the South Island lifestyle – check out our summary of the main centers below.
Nelson / Tasman
Located at the top of the South Island – the Nelson / Tasman area is favored for its climate and lifestyle choice. The main economic industries include agriculture, forestry and fishing. This area also boasts the highest population of artist and crafts people in New Zealand. If you enjoy caving, tramping, mountaineering, sailing, hunting, horse trekking and / or fishing, you will love the Nelson / Tasman lifestyle. Regional areas include: Richmond, Motueka, Hope, Brightwater, Wakefield, Mapua and Takaka.
Located in the northeast of the South Island, Marlborough is home to many award winning wineries and boutique breweries, beautiful waterways and outdoor adventure pursuits. Blenheim and Picton are the main urban centers. Blenheim in particular is known as the wine capital of New Zealand, and Picton is the main ferry portal to the South Island from Wellington. Marlborough enjoys warm and settled weather.
This region is the least populated and more remote than other areas in the South Island. The main districts include Buller, Gray and Westland. Known as the rainy and river region, the West Coast is rich in natural resources such as coal, gold and industrial minerals, plus timber and fisheries. These resources contribute to the region's economic welfare. Tourism is also a major industry in the West Coast.
Located on the east coast of the South Island – Canterbury's main city is Christchurch. The main regional areas available in Canterbury include: Kaikoura, Hurunui, Selwyn, Waimakariri, Christchurch, Ashburton, Mackenzie, Timaru and Waimate. Canterbury's economic earners include agriculture, industry, fishing, forestry and tourism. Canterbury is now the largest dairying region of the South Island. Christchurch's International Airport is one of the main arrival portals into New Zealand and the deep harbor port and rail network make Christchurch the main distribution center in the South Island.
Located in the Southern region of the South Island – the Otago region is the second largest in New Zealand. There are five regional district areas: Queenstown-Lakes, Central Otago, Clutha and Waitaki. Rich in cultural heritage – Otago is renamed for its natural beauty. Mountain backdrops, crystal clear lakes and sandy beaches make up much of the landscape. Farming is one of the largest economic earners in this region – particularly sheep and dairy. Tourism is also huge in this area throughout the year. If you are a keen skier / snowboarder – you will feel right at home in Otago with access to Cardrona, Coronet Peak, Snowpark, The Remarkables and Treble Cone.
Of course nothing quite compares with actually visiting each of these areas to get a real feel for the environment, people and potential for being your next home.