11 days in South Island Itinerary

11 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island tour builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Christchurch
Drive
2
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
Bus
3
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 1 night
Bus
4
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Bus
5
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Bus
6
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Pukaki
— 1 night
Drive
8
Christchurch
Fly

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Christchurch

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Start your trip to Christchurch by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Auckland to Christchurch is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Auckland in January: highs in Christchurch hover around 26°C, while lows dip to 13°C. On the 10th (Sun), you're off to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Shopping

Lake Tekapo

— 2 nights
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
You've now added Hooker Valley Track to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 10th (Sun): take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd, then test the waters at Tekapo Springs, and then get a taste of local nightlife at Tekapo Star Gazing.

Plan my day in Lake Tekapo using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Tue): hike along Hooker Valley Track.

To find maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip builder app.

You can take a bus from Lake Tekapo to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) in 2.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

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

Parks · Trails · Outdoors
Highlights from your trip

Queenstown

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Wed): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas and then get your game on at Skyline Queenstown. Here are some ideas for day two: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find photos, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Queenstown trip itinerary app.

You can take a bus from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Queenstown in 5.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Fun & Games · Adventure

Te Anau

— 2 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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes The Chasm Walk, Key Summit Track and Kayaking & Canoeing. On the 15th (Fri), contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound and then tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk. On the 16th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then trek along Key Summit Track.

To see other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau route planner.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours

Side Trip

Wanaka

— 2 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.
You've now added Rippon Vineyard to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Sun): learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard. Keep things going the next day: hike along Mount Iron Track.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Wanaka trip planner.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Wanaka in 6.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Pukaki.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Wineries

Pukaki

— 1 night
Clay Cliff has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 19th (Tue): explore the striking landscape at Clay Cliff and then experience rural life at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Pukaki online attractions planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Wanaka to Pukaki. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Pukaki

Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Christchurch

Garden City

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Pukaki to Christchurch in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. You will leave for home on the 20th (Wed).

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Shopping

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.