24 days in South Island Itinerary

24 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip planner

Plan created by another user.Make it yours

Route & dates

Start: Auckland
Fly:  5 h 15 min
1
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Bus:  5 h 15 min
2
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
3
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Bus:  2 h 30 min
4
Wanaka
— 3 nights
Bus:  4 h 45 min
5
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
6
Hokitika
— 1 night
Fly:  2 h 15 min
7
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
8
Hanmer Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
9
Picton
— 3 nights
Fly:  5 h
End: Auckland

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.
On the 24th (Fri), trek along Tunnel Beach Track and then make a trip to The World's Steepest Street. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Penguin Place and then identify plant and animal life at The Royal Albatross Centre.

To find ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Dunedin visit site.

Auckland to Dunedin is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry, car, and bus; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Mirror Lakes Walk and The Chasm Walk. Explore hidden gems such as Milford sound Hwy and Lake Gunn. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, stroll through Routeburn Track, and Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

For photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau day trip planning app.

Getting from Dunedin to Te Anau by bus takes about 6 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Routeburn Track, Milford sound Hwy
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Routeburn Track ©
Routeburn Track

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.
Visiting Coronet Peak and Queenstown Trail will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Cardrona Alpine Resort and Arrowtown Chinese Settlement. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy some diversion at Break One, get your game on at Fear Factory Queenstown, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and learn about winemaking at Chard Farm Winery.

For where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown journey planner.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 4 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can catch the bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, Cardrona Alpine Resort
Find places to stay Jul 29 — Aug 2:
Highlights from your plan
Cardrona Alpine  Resort ©
Cardrona Alpine Resort
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Queenstown Trail ©
Queenstown Trail

3
nights
Wanaka

Wanaka ©
Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
Visiting Snow Farm NZ and Roys Peak Track will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Mount Iron Track and Blue Pools Track. And it doesn't end there: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Aspiring National Park, appreciate the history behind Wanaka War Memorial, and putt your heart out at Crossfire Wanaka.

To see ratings, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Wanaka driving holiday site.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Wanaka takes 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Snow Farm NZ ©
Snow Farm NZ
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track

2
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Thu): trek along Mount Fox Route, thenexplore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, and then hike along Sentinel Rock Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Fri): steep yourself in history at River Walk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Moraine Walk, thenstroll through Fox Glacier South Side Walk, and finally go for a walk through Lake Matheson Walk.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Fox Glacier trip builder app.

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Fox Glacier in 5.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can go by car to Hokitika.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Trails Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Aug 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk

1
night
Hokitika

Hokitika ©
Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island, 40km south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. On the 8th (Sat), browse the exhibits of Wilderness Gallery, stroll through Hokitika Beach, and then head outdoors with Glow Worm Dell.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Hokitika trip itinerary builder site.

Drive from Fox Glacier to Hokitika in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Hokitika

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Glow Worm Dell ©
Glow Worm Dell
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach
Wilderness Gallery ©
Wilderness Gallery

3
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Port Hills and Sumner Beach (Cave Rock). Get some historical perspective at Taylors Mistake - Awaroa / Godley Head Walk and Riccarton House & Bush. The adventure continues: examine the collection at Air Force Museum of New Zealand, steep yourself in history at Mona Vale, have some family-friendly fun at Velocity Karts, and pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip maker app.

Traveling by flight from Hokitika to Christchurch takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 14°C, and evening lows to 2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Port Hills ©
Port Hills
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock) ©
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock)
Riccarton House & Bush ©
Riccarton House & Bush

2
nights
Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs ©
Action and relaxation are the reasons that most people head to Hanmer Springs, where natural thermal pools bubble among dramatic alpine surroundings.
On the 12th (Wed), admire all the interesting features of Hanmer Springs Animal Park, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and then take in the awesome beauty at Conical Hill. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Thu): head outdoors with Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre, browse the exhibits of Majuba Gallery, thenstop by The Decadent Fudge Company, and finally delve into the lush surroundings at Hanmer Forest.

To find ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Hanmer Springs journey planner.

You can drive from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Picton.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre ©
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre
Hanmer Forest ©
Hanmer Forest
Spas

3
nights
Picton

Picton ©
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
Step out of the city life by going to Queen Charlotte Track and Marlborough Sounds. Step off the beaten path and head to Queen Charlotte Sound and Picton Sound. There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Edwin Fox Maritime Museum, stop by Seaside Gems, take in the pleasant sights at Karaka Point Walk, and see the interesting displays at The National Whale Centre.

To see ratings, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Picton day trip planner.

Getting from Hanmer Springs to Picton by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and train. Expect a daytime high around 15°C in August, and nighttime lows around 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Picton

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Queen Charlotte Track ©
Queen Charlotte Track
Marlborough Sounds ©
Marlborough Sounds
Queen Charlotte Sound ©
Queen Charlotte Sound

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