15 days in South Island Itinerary

15 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Abel Tasman National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Franz Josef
— 1 night
Drive
4
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Bus
5
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus
6
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to Melbourne

S M T W T F S
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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 5th (Tue), catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train, admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and then pause for some photo ops at Chalice Sculpture. Here are some ideas for day two: get to know the resident critters at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, then examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, and then take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Christchurch trip website.

Melbourne, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. Traveling from Melbourne to Christchurch, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Melbourne in November, plan for a bit cooler days in Christchurch, with highs around 22°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours · Transportation · Museums · Parks

Abel Tasman National Park

— 2 nights
Pristine blue water, immaculate white sand, and a thick, temperate rainforest make Abel Tasman National Park a natural jewel on the northern coast of Tasmania's South Island.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaiteriteri Beach and then trek along Abel Tasman Coast Track. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Fri): admire the sheer force of Wainui Falls Track and then Head underground at Rawhiti Cave Track.

To see more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Abel Tasman National Park journey maker site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Christchurch to Abel Tasman National Park. On the 8th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Franz Josef

— 1 night
Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
On the 9th (Sat), tour the pleasant surroundings at Moraine Walk, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and then explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier. Keep things going the next day: trek along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails.

To see maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Franz Josef road trip planning site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Abel Tasman National Park to Franz Josef. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · 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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Mon): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Aspiring National Park and then explore the activities along Lake Wanaka. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Tue): do a tasting at Rippon Vineyard, then have some family-friendly fun at Puzzling World, and then hit the slopes at Wanaka.

To find ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Wanaka trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Franz Josef to Wanaka. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports

Queenstown

— 3 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've now added Family Adventures to your itinerary. The adventure continues: push the limits with an extreme tour, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

Plan trip to Queenstown with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Queenstown in 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks

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.
Te Anau is known for nature, trails, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the activities along Milford Sound, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, hike along The Chasm Walk, and stroll through Lake Gunn.

For more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau trip planner.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trip

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.