The South Island is arguably the more dramatic of the two main islands of New Zealand – there are few more beautiful places on the planet. A lap of the island will see you take in fjords, mountains, glaciers, rainforest, vineyards, incredible beaches and stunning lakes, all within an area around the size of England. However, with a population of just over one million, it is fifty times less crowded.
Unpopulated until Maori arrived around 500 years ago, European (and Chinese) people started arriving in numbers around the time of the gold rushes of the 1860s, and it is soon after this that golf arrived on the island, with the Otago Golf Club in Dunedin being the first, established in 1871. Nowadays, the undoubted hub of quality golf courses is Queenstown – our top three South Island courses are all to be found near this stunning lakeside destination.
Our South Island rankings were last updated in March 2019.