42 days in South Island Itinerary

42 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Invercargill
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Dunedin
— 5 nights
Fly
4
Picton
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Hanmer Springs
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Westport
— 1 night
Drive
8
Hokitika
— 3 nights
Bus
9
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 4 nights
Drive
10
Wanaka
— 5 nights
Drive
11
Te Anau
— 6 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to Hobart

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Queenstown

— 5 nights

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Wine Tours & Tastings. Explore hidden gems such as Ben Lomond Track and Fishing Charters & Tours. Next up on the itinerary: explore the landscape on two wheels at Lake Hayes Walkway, get outside with Outdoor Activities, stroll through Kiwi Birdlife Park, and whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For photos, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip itinerary website.

Hobart, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Hobart to Queenstown is 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) so you can drive to Invercargill.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Tours · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 28 — Nov 2:

Invercargill

— 2 nights
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. On the 3rd (Wed), admire the masterpieces at Southland Museum and Art Gallery and then get engrossed in the history at E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Thu): examine the collection at Bill Richardson Transport World, walk around Queens Park, and then take in the exciting artwork at Otautau Gallery.

To see traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Invercargill route maker tool.

Traveling by car from Queenstown to Invercargill takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Invercargill

Museums · Parks · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Nov 2 — 4:

Dunedin

— 5 nights

Edinburgh of the South

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Nugget Point/Tokata Walks and Steampunk HQ. Take a break from the city and head to Central Cycle Trail Co. and Orokonui Ecosanctuary. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Dunedin: Oamaru's Victorian Precinct (in Oamaru) and Nugget Point Lighthouse (in Ahuriri Flat). And it doesn't end there: hike along Tunnel Beach Track, sample the tasty concoctions at Speight’s Brewery, get a new perspective on nature at Otago Museum, and see the interesting displays at The Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Dunedin road trip planning tool.

Getting from Invercargill to Dunedin by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to fly to Picton.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 4 — 9:

Picton

— 4 nights

Gateway to the South Island

Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
Get some cultural insight at Framingham Wines and Edwin Fox Maritime Museum. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Boat Tours & Water Sports and Marlborough Sounds. On the 10th (Wed), hike the day away at Queen Charlotte Track. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Queen Charlotte Sound, take in the waterfront at Picton Sound, get outside with Tirohanga Track, and stroll through Karaka Point Walk.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Picton day trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Dunedin to Picton takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In November, daytime highs in Picton are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Picton

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Nov 9 — 13:

Kaikoura

— 3 nights
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Visiting Peninsula Seal Colony and Fishing Charters & Tours will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. There's still lots to do: get engrossed in the history at Kaikoura Museum, stop by Kaikoura Cheese, learn the secrets of beer at Beer School, and make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read Kaikoura online travel planner.

Drive from Picton to Kaikoura in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 16:

Hanmer Springs

— 3 nights

Springs

Action and relaxation are the reasons that most people head to Hanmer Springs, where natural thermal pools bubble among dramatic alpine surroundings.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Conical Hill and Wai ariki Farm Park, Cafe & Gallery. Take a break from the city and head to Hanmer Forest and Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. There's more to do: stroll through Hanmer Springs Animal Park and get outside with Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre.

For more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Hanmer Springs tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or do a combination of train and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Westport.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Spas
Find places to stay Nov 16 — 19:

Westport

— 1 night
Westport is a town in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 20th (Sat): go for a walk through The Old Ghost Road and then hike along Cape Foulwind Walkway.

For other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Westport attractions app.

Drive from Hanmer Springs to Westport in 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to travel to Hokitika.

Things to do in Westport

Parks · Trails · Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 19 — 20:

Hokitika

— 3 nights
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. Get some cultural insight at Wilderness Gallery and Hokitika Craft Gallery. Take a break from the city and head to West Coast Wilderness Trail and Glow Worm Dell. When in Hokitika, make a side trip to see Truman Track in Punakaiki, approximately Punakaiki away. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Hokitika Beach, stroll through Lake Kaniere, and look for gifts at Garth Wilson Jade.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Hokitika trip simple and quick.

Getting from Westport to Hokitika by car takes about 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) so you can take a bus to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks · Outdoors · Shopping · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 20 — 23:

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 4 nights
Visiting Hooker Valley Track and Nature & Wildlife Tours will get you outdoors. Step off the beaten path and head to Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Fox Glacier Hiking Trails. Venture out of the city with trips to Franz Josef (Tatare Tunnels Walk, Spas, &more) and Fox Glacier (Fox Glacier South Side Walk, Lake Matheson Walk, &more).

To see reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip planning website.

Getting from Hokitika to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) by bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Wanaka.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 23 — 27:

Wanaka

— 5 nights
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Fishing Charters & Tours and Mount Iron Track. Get outdoors at Mount Aspiring National Park and Horseback Riding Tours. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Blue Pools Track, see the interesting displays at National Transport and Toy Museum, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and admire the sheer force of Thunder Creek Falls.

To find traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Wanaka trip maker app.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Wanaka. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Nov 27 — Dec 2:

Te Anau

— 6 nights
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.
Step out of the city life by going to The Chasm Walk and Mirror Lakes Walk. Step off the beaten path and head to Lake Te Anau and Ivan Wilson Park. Change things up with a short trip to Boat Tours & Water Sports in Milford Sound (about 1 hour away). Spend the 5th (Sun) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 6th (Mon), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. There's more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound and explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

To find ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Te Anau trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Wanaka to Te Anau with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 2 — 8:

South Island travel guide

4.6
Bodies of Water · Entertainment Centers · Hiking Trails
Māui's Canoe
The wilder of New Zealand's two main islands, South Island offers a feast of nature in all its glory. Extensive, untouched plains connect alpine landscapes with rugged shorelines, creating a home for an abundance of animals and vegetation, on land and in the rich surrounding waters. Renowned as a window to the natural world before man (something that scores of film directors have tapped into over the years), South Island folds its cities and townships into the surrounding landscape, their populations adding something singular to the mix. On your trip to South Island, you'll witness the awe-inspiring cultural heritage of the Maori, whose art and architecture complements the developments of the colonial legacy. The result is a land of characterful buildings, rolling vineyards, and free-spirited adventure.