13 days in South Island Itinerary

13 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island sightseeing planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Bus
2
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29

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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Skyline Queenstown and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. There's lots more to do: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, explore the galleries of Silver Fern Gallery, take a memorable tour with Tours, and look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

To see photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip planner.

Sydney, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Fun & Games

Te Anau

— 3 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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Take a break from Te Anau with a short trip to Boat Tours & Water Sports in Milford Sound, about 1 hour away. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the waterfront views at Te Anau Glowworm Caves and identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau road trip planning website.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trip

Dunedin

— 2 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.
On the 17th (Mon), see the interesting displays at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, then browse the exhibits of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, then look for gifts at Rata Jewellery, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at The Royal Albatross Centre. On the next day, trek along Tunnel Beach Track, then step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, then don't miss a visit to The World's Steepest Street, and finally get curious at Otago Museum.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Dunedin fast, fun, and easy.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Dunedin. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums · Parks · Childrens Museums · Wildlife

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 3 nights
Kids will enjoy Gillespies Beach and Glacier Explorers. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu): Fox Glacier (Fox Glacier South Side Walk, Minnehaha Walk, &more).

Plan my day in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Explore your travel options from Dunedin to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) to allow time to travel to Christchurch.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Christchurch

— 2 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 22nd (Sat), enjoy breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola, then walk around Hagley Park, then admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and finally let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground. On the 23rd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get to know the resident critters at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, then see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Michaels and All Angels, and finally take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum.

To see maps, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Christchurch road trip tool.

Explore your travel options from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Christchurch with the Route module. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in January, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Museums · Transportation · Zoos & Aquariums

South Island travel guide

4.6
Entertainment Centers · Bodies of Water · 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.