Famed for its outstanding natural beauty, New Zealand’s South Island is blessed with tranquil lakes, rugged mountains, wild rivers and lush forest. The Southern Alps – a massive mountain chain – create a natural spine, taking in the country's highest peak of Mount Cook (3754m). Fiordland is a key attraction for visitors, with its glacier-carved landscape of drowned river valleys (including the incredible 22km-long Milford Sound) and towering peaks. Other national parks (there are ten in total!) include Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes, Arthur's Pass and Mount Aspiring. These majestic wilderness areas incorporate World Heritage Sites, fiords and glaciers, lakes, ski areas, rugged coastline and native forest. Wine connoisseurs should head for the Marlborough Region and discover the finest Sauvignon Blancs. And so to the cities: the largest one is Christchurch, known for its gracious parks and English character; while Dunedin, with its Scottish heritage, is the second largest centre and the country's best-preserved Victorian city.