This entirely depends on your travel times. Ideally, you would do both! Mutually stunning, each island has unique, individual attractions. However, if you have limited time we recommend choosing one island to thoroughly explore as opposed to trying to rush them both. There's always next time! So to help you decide here's a quick overview of what you can expect:
If you're more of a sun and sand kind of person, then the North is for you. Significantly warmer with many accessible surf beaches, coves and sheltered bays - the North is also home to geothermal Rotorua, all of New Zealand's active volcanoes, and the country’s capital city Wellington. It boasts the longest beach in New Zealand (Ninety Mile Beach) and its sub-tropical Bay of Island region is renowned for its white sand and crystal clear waters.
The South Island
If you love mountains, vineyards and dramatic scenery, then the South is the island you'll enjoy the most. With the Southern Alps running the length of the country you’re never far from some of the most remarkable views in the country. Renowned for it’s hiking, the South has five of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks,’ multiple award-winning wineries, glaciers, rainforest, lakes and dusty plains. It is also home to the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown.