North or South Island nzSouth or North Island nz
If you want to see New Zealand's mountain scenery, South Island should be your favourite spot, as it is more hilly than North Island.
From the north-eastern tip of the tip of South Island near Nelson Lakes National Park to the south-western tip, where the fjords are near Milford Sound, the highest summits are in the Mount Cook and Queenstown areas.
Approximately 60% of the South Island is surrounded by mountains with over 1,500 meter high crests. South Alps extend over 500 km down the South Island and have 23 summits over 3.000 m height. Mt Cook, also known as Aoraki, is 3,754 metres high.
Mt Cook can be seen when visiting and hiking in Mount Cook National Park or when passing Lake Pukaki. The Kea Point Track is an easier hike to several summits. You can see Mount Tasman from Lake Matheson on the west coast. Then, down in the south, in Fiordland, there are these hills with precipitous dales shooting out of the waters to shape the fjords.
Most of the east part of the South Island is quite shallow between Christchurch and Dunedin, but the scenery becomes a little more hilly when you step onto the Catlin and head south towards Invercargill. North of Christchurch, however, there is a chain of mountains near the Kaikoura coast: There are also mountains in the north-western part of the South Island:
North Island mountainous (semi-sleeping) volcanos occur in Taranaki and the area south of Lake Taupo in the centre of North Island. Whilst there are other hills around the North Island, the volcanos are the highest summits, consisting of the following mountains: And there are also hills that run in a long series from Wellington to the east coast.
To see snowy peaks in New Zealand, you must either go to South Island or the North Island volcanos in the June, July or August winters. On the higher peaks of the South Island there will be snows until October, whichever is hot.
You can also come to New Zealand in early summer to see snows on the mountain. A further possibility to experience the mountain from above is a sightseeing tour with e.g. Air Safaris on Lake Tekapo on the South Island of New Zealand. In any case, to see New Zealand's mountain scenery, you should go to South Island.
If you want to experience the snows on the mountain, come to New Zealand in summer and drive to either the North Island central Volcanic Regions or Lake Tekapo, Queenstown or Central Otago on the South Island.