Sunday, July 5, 2015

Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Step into postcard paradise at Abel Tasman National Park, swim with seals and dolphins at Kaikoura, or take a hike on the Franz Josef Glacier; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of New Zealand's South Island and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island Travel Guide:

  • Colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries show you the simplest way to tailor your trip to your own personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips save you time and money and help you get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, and prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - including eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, and hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer and more rewarding travel experience - including customs, history, art, literature, cinema, music, politics, landscapes, and wildlife
  • Over 54 local maps
  • Useful features - including Month-by-Month (annual festival calendar), Trekking in the South Island, and Extreme South Island
  • Coverage of Marlborough, Nelson, Christchurch, Canterbury, the West Coast, Dunedin, Otago, Queenstown, Wanaka, Fiordland, Southland, Hokitika, Oamaru, Akaroa, Banks Peninsula, Stewart Island, and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island, our most comprehensive guide to New Zealand's South Island, is perfect for those planning to both explore the top sights and take the road less travelled.

  • Looking for more coverage? Check out Lonely Planet's New Zealand guide for a comprehensive look at what the whole country has to offer, or Lonely Planet's Discover New Zealand, a photo-rich guide to all the most popular attractions in that country.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Brett Atkinson, Sarah Bennett, Peter Dragicevich, Charles Rawlings-Way, and Lee Slater.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

Born in Rotorua and raised in Auckland, proud North Islander Brett still proudly supports the Auckland Blues rugby team, but needs no encouragement at all to regale friends and family with stories of wild West Coast scenery, hang gliding above Queenstown, and taste-testing South Island micro-breweries. Six weeks on the road impressed him so much that in his retirement Brett plans to build scale model matchstick replicas of all of the one-way bridges on the West Coast. Home is currently a cosy apartment in Auckland with Carol. It may not be big enough for all those bridges.

Most helpful customer reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
3Nice for getting an overview of the country, but not really practical for actual use
By Donna from Washington State
I bought this book in preparation for our trip to New Zealand. It was very useful for familiarizing ourselves with the south island and planning a general itinerary of where to go. Once we got to the country, it pretty much just traveled around with us and didn't provide any real source of information. Like another reviewer, we wanted to get to know the country and the people, not go on a series of paid excursions. We didn't stay at a single accommodation listed, nor eat at any restaurants, nor pay for any of the incredibly expensive options listed for entertainment.
If you are planning to go to New Zealand, pick your cities and then start looking at hotels listed on Trip Advisor. At each place we stayed we knew exactly what to expect and were more than happy with our choices since we knew what we were getting ourselves into. One thing you should know is that a "studio" appears to be a standard hotel room here in the States: a room with a bed or two, a separate small bath and a microwave and small fridge. A "one bedroom" appears to be a larger room with a kitchenette and a separate bedroom; both rooms have a bed of some kind. They charge on a per-person basis, so you'll need to confirm with them the number of people and number of beds you actually want. We did everything online and also confirmed whether or not we had cooking facilities/utensils. We used the cooking facilities because eating out is incredibly expensive! However, we discovered New World Markets, where they have delicious breakfast pastries and meat pies for lunch or dinner. Yum! We also ate a lot of pb&j sandwiches.
If you are staying in Queenstown, there is a small bed and breakfast located out of town that we will stay at if we ever go again: Little Paradise Lodge (actually listed in this book). We did their tea and garden tour and were amazed.
Every city has an "I-Site," as in an information center. They have local people staffing the site and provide free maps and lots of information about the area. We went there first to get the lay of the land. They can book accommodations and excursions if you want that, with no cost to you for their help. You can even do that from over here before you go.
Our greatest source of fun was asking the local people what they liked to do and where they went when they had a free afternoon. We went with no itinerary, but every day was packed with all kinds of activity. Their parks, gardens, beaches, and a lot of museums are totally free. There is no charge to park at trail heads. We did pay for a few things (water taxi to Ulva Island at Stewart Island, parking fees in cities, Milford Sound cruise, bike rental, the garden tour, and donations), but most of our time was spent driving, walking around towns seeing their sights, birding and hiking--all free.
My recommendation would be to use this book to make your general plan, but don't bother packing it with you.

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful.
2Just OK but they left out one really important fact
By Anita
I bought the e-version of this guide but wanted to share my experience with folks thinking about buying any version of the book ...

The authors make only passing mention of the ridiculously rainy weather on the South Island. It rains A LOT. And it can be COLD, even in the middle of summer. We ended up having to completely rearrange our schedule when we were there ... our helicopter hike on Franz Josef glacier was cancelled because of the rain. We could not visit Milford Sound because the only road to Milford Sound was closed due to heavy rain. The Glowworm Caves were closed due to flooding. Lonely Planet really needs to stress this point, which it does not. We talked to a lot of other fellow travelers who were deeply disappointed because so many things were canceled/closed due to weather, including a family with small kids who ended up being mostly rained in during their six-day stay in Queenstown.

I wish I had known about the impact weather can have ... my advice is, don't plan too tight of a schedule, leave some flexibility so you can stay an extra day or two somewhere if needed.

I found LP to be good as a general guide, and it's certainly helpful for pre-trip planning. But the authors made no mention of the best thing I saw during my visit (December 2012): the Blue Pools, a short walk off the road between Wanaka and Haast. Stunning and definitely worth a visit. So glad the manager at our hotel in Franz Josef recommended it.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
1Kindle version is beyond useless
NOTE: this review is for the Kindle version of the product.

DO NOT ORDER IT. It is absolutely useless, whether on a Kindle, a Fire, or a Windows tablet. There is no index, no search, it is extremely slow to refresh pages... unless you literally plan on reading through one page after the next from the beginning, it will do you no good.

I ordered the paperback version afterwards, and that's fine, but it's criminal that they would sell this as a Kindle book without even a basic index. Trying to get my money back.

See all 12 customer reviews...

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