17 days in South Island Itinerary

17 days in South Island Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Perth
Fly:  9 h 45 min
1
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
Geraldine
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
3
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 3 nights
Bus:  1 h 45 min
4
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Bus:  5 h 15 min
6
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
7
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly:  11 h
End: Perth

2
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): get around town with TranzAlpine Train, see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, and then pause for some photo ops at Chalice Sculpture. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, then take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and finally let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Christchurch driving holiday site .

Perth, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 10-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 4 hour difference. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Perth in August, with highs in Christchurch at 14°C and lows at 2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Geraldine.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation Tours Museums
Find places to stay Aug 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum

1
night
Geraldine

Geraldine ©
Geraldine or Heratini is a town in the Canterbury Region on the South Island of New Zealand. Start off your visit on the 28th (Fri): see the interesting displays at The Giant Jersey, then see the interesting displays at Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum, then identify plant and animal life at Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve, and finally see the sky in a new way at Geraldine Observatory.

To find more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Geraldine trip itinerary maker site .

Getting from Christchurch to Geraldine by car takes about 2 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) so you can travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Geraldine

Museums Childrens Museums Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Geraldine Observatory ©
Geraldine Observatory

3
nights
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) ©
Change things up with these side-trips from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu): Fox Glacier (Fox Glacier South Side Walk, Helicopter Tours, &more) and Franz Josef (Franz Josef Glacier & Peters Pool Walk).

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) online tour itinerary builder .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Geraldine to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can take a bus to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Fox Glacier, Franz Josef, Hapuka Estuary Walk
Find places to stay Aug 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Mueller Hut Route ©
Mueller Hut Route

1
night
Lake Tekapo

Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Tue): see Off-Road Tours, view the masterpieces at Burkes Pass Gallery, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd, and finally explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

For more things to do, maps, photos, and tourist information, use the Lake Tekapo trip planning site .

Getting from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Lake Tekapo by bus takes about 2 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can go by car to Dunedin.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Burkes Pass Gallery
Find places to stay Aug 31 — Sep 1:
Highlights from your plan
Off-Road Tours
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
The Church of the Good Shepherd ©
The Church of the Good Shepherd

2
nights
Dunedin

Dunedin ©
With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): see the sky in a new way at Otago Museum, contemplate the long history of Olveston Historic Home, examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, then view the masterpieces at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and finally don't miss a visit to The World's Steepest Street. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at The Royal Albatross Centre, then appreciate the history behind Robert Scott Memorial, then explore the historical opulence of Larnach Castle & Gardens, and finally get great views at Otago Troopers Memorial.

For photos, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Dunedin travel route planner.

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Dunedin in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums Childrens Museums Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Larnach Castle & Gardens ©
Larnach Castle & Gardens
Otago Museum ©
Otago Museum

3
nights
Te Anau

Te Anau ©
Set among the picturesque peaks and glacially carved fiords of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau offers those wishing to explore the park a great place to stay and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a small town in an enviable location.
Take a break from Te Anau with a short trip to Boat Tours & Water Sports in Milford Sound, about 1 hour away. There's much more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, look for all kinds of wild species at Ivan Wilson Park, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and get outside with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Te Anau tour itinerary planning app .

Getting from Dunedin to Te Anau by bus takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Boat Tours & Water Sports
Find places to stay Sep 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Boat Tours & Water Sports

4
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Coronet Peak, kick your exploration up a notch at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, and get interesting insight from Tours.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Queenstown trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
Spas

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