Best Romantic Walks on New Zealand’s South Island

New Zealand walks don’t have to be hikes and treks. When knowing the right places to go for short and easy walks in New Zealand there’s plenty of choice, especially on the beautiful (and arguably better) South Island. For those lovebirds looking for a peaceful South Island escape there’s nowhere better than what NZ has to offer. Luckily anywhere you go will be pretty quiet and mostly people-free, making the South Island the perfect destination for a romantic walk!

Looking over the braided rivers at Hanmer Springs at sunset
Hanmer Springs sunset

Hammer springs

Did someone say spa? Yes, this small alpine town is nestled in the mountains and boasts soothing hot spring pools and fine dining to ensure relaxation and indulgence. Easy walks nearby and around the town are sure to work up an appetite!


Cloud moves over Godley Head with the rocky mountains and
Godley Head coastal walks

Godley Head

For the history-loving couples Godley Head will be an ideal break from the busy city nearby. Take a stroll along the dramatic coastline just a short drive up the hill from Christchurch for a unique date idea!


Volcanic bays create the jagged coastline of the Port Hills in Christchurch, New Zealand
Port Hills view

Port Hills

What better way to woo your beau than with outstanding landscape views? With a 360 sweep across Christchurch you’ll be able to impress your date by spotting the mountains in the distance, and name the beautiful volcanic bays emerging from the ocean.


Crashing falls cascade down the rockside
Devil’s Punchbowl Falls

Arthur’s Pass

Walks such as Bridal Veil Falls (hint hint?) and Devil’s Punchbowl Falls just ooze romance. If you want to capture the perfect romantic moment you’ll be spoilt for choice with the various viewpoints making Arthur’s Pass an Instagrammer’s dream.


With blue skies the crashing waves wash onto the dark sand beach at Taylor's Mistake
Crashing waves at Taylor’s Mistake

Taylor’s Mistake

Couples love a beach break, right? Splash about in the charming bay of Taylor’s Mistake to show off your aquatic prowess. A quieter beach than Sumner or New Brighton, you can access by car or walking and once your arrive you’ll be glad to cool off from the scorching heat of an NZ summer with a dip in the playful waves.


The dazzling blue waters fill Hokitika Gorge with green forest on either side and grey rocks in the foreground
Blue waters of Hokitika Gorge

Hokitika Gorge

Gorge-ous puns aside, who could resist this stunning spot on a romantic road trip? A short walk to the view point across a swinging bridge will take you to the picturesque lookout. The coveted Hokitika Gorge photo is the ideal date keepsake after clambering over rocks to take the best snaps.


Sun rises turning the sky pink and blue over French Farm bay and Banks Peninsula mountains near Akaroa
Sunrise over French Farm near Akaroa


Looking for that quintessentially romantic French vibe? Look no further! New Zealand has the perfect place for a bit of European ambiance in the form of Akaroa and the surrounding areas of Banks Peninsula. Take a short but steep walk up Onawe Peninsula to work up an appetite for cheese tasting and wine at a nearby vineyard!


Standing below a heart shaped
A kiss from Hokitika

Hokitika beach

What’s more romantic than a walk hand in hand along the beach? Skip stones, surf, and show your love by making your own couples’ driftwood sculpture!


Overlooking the bays on a sunny New Zealand morning.
Abel Tasman lookout

Abel Tasman

Take a water taxi to a remote bay such as the Pithead Track to Te Pukatea and enjoy a winding walk through the trees to eventually be met by stunning views across the Cook Strait. A perfect picnic spot, and you might even spot some seals on the boat ride over!


Calm waters at the lakefront in Tekapo, New Zealand
clear waters of Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Enjoy a casual stroll arm in arm up Mount John as you bask in views across the lakeside mountains before star gazing during a visit to Lake Tekapo. I’ll leave the cheesy lines to you!


The Remarkables from Kelvin Heights

Kelvin Heights

Who doesn’t love a sunset walk? Enjoy a unique perspective of The Remarkables from this forest walk while the sun goes down to round off a romantic evening.

What are your favourite romantic walks in New Zealand? Still stuck for New Zealand date ideas? Here are my top things to do in Canterbury, a budget-friendly Auckland itinerary and what to do with a week in Queenstown – all featuring some of the best picnic spots in NZ!

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32 Replies to “Best Romantic Walks on New Zealand’s South Island”

  1. These are lovely!
    You know, we were hiking near lake Tekapo last month and saw a couple taking wedding photos at the end of the lake with those stunning mountains behind them. So you must be right – that IS a romantic walk!! 😀 <3

    1. Oh no way! There’s so many great spots around there I’m not surprised, imagine a wedding shoot with that scenery 😱 Are you still in NZ? Hope you’ve had the best time!

  2. This looks more like a list of gorgeous artwork than actual places to visit, since they’re so beautiful they hardly seem real! Especially Godley Head and the Punchbowl Falls. Just wow!

  3. for me , all the places that you have mentioned remind of the immense photographic appeal of he nature that showcases herself all over again n again . definitely a great place to visit

  4. I just read another NZ post earlier… such a beautiful country, such landscapes! I’d go there in a heartbeat… but it’s on the other side of the planet for me.. it requires more savings. But would love to visit someday!

  5. Hahah, I love the Bridal Falls hint hint!! I’m also super relieved to find that NZ isn’t all about just hikes and there are some nice leisurely walks too! Now I just gotta get out there!

  6. My husband and I would really love places like these. Nature walks, watch sunsets and enjoy amazing views are things we love doing together. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to explore New Zealand in the future.

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