17 days in Auckland & South Island Itinerary

17 days in Auckland & South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand holiday planner

Make it your trip
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Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly
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Nelson
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Drive
4
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Dunedin
— 1 night
Drive
7
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly

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Auckland

— 2 nights

City of Sails

The largest and most populous city in New Zealand, Auckland combines a rich history and thriving contemporary culture in an abundance of museums, art galleries, and performance venues.
You've now added Butterfly Creek to your itinerary. On the 3rd (Sun), don't miss a visit to SkyTower and then enjoy the sand and surf at Orewa Beach. On the 4th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then identify plant and animal life at Butterfly Creek, then snap pictures at Auckland Harbour Bridge, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Muriwai Gannet Colony.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, read Auckland travel itinerary planner.

Singapore, Singapore to Auckland is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also fly. The time zone difference moving from Singapore Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time is 4 hours. When traveling from Singapore in March, plan for colder days in Auckland, with highs around 22°C, while nights are a bit cooler with lows around 22°C. On the 5th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Nelson.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Wildlife · Nightlife · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Nelson

— 2 nights

Top of the South

Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Gardens of the World, Tahunanui Beach, Queen's Gardens, and other attractions you added. Kick off your visit on the 5th (Tue): admire the natural beauty at Gardens of the World and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tahunanui Beach. On the 6th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Natureland Zoo, admire the natural beauty at Queen's Gardens, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Kaiteriteri Beach.

For traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Nelson day trip app.

Traveling by flight from Auckland to Nelson takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, ferry, and bus. You'll have a few hours on the 7th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Nelson

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Kaikoura

— 1 night
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Peninsula Seal Colony.

Plan my Kaikoura trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

You can drive from Nelson to Kaikoura in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Parks · Wildlife

Christchurch

— 3 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Christchurch Tramway, Punting on the Avon and Sumner Beach (Cave Rock). Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): walk around Groynes. On the 9th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: catch a ride on Christchurch Tramway, then walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and then wander the streets of Port Hills.

To see other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Christchurch online day trip planner.

You can drive from Kaikoura to Christchurch in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or take a train. March in Christchurch sees daily highs of 23°C and lows of 11°C at night. On the 11th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Tours · Outdoors · Nature

Lake Tekapo

— 2 nights
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Mon): explore the activities along Lake Tekapo and then enjoy breathtaking views from Mount John University Observatory. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: test the waters at Tekapo Springs, get a taste of local nightlife at Dark Sky Project, and then pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Lake Tekapo trip maker tool.

You can drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 13th (Wed) before leaving for Dunedin.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks · Nature · Nightlife · Spas

Dunedin

— 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Wed): experience rural life at Natures Wonders Naturally, identify plant and animal life at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, don't miss a visit to Bellamys Gallery, kick back and relax at Dunedin Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Aramoana Beach, and finally kick back and relax at St Clair Beach.

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

You can drive from Lake Tekapo to Dunedin in 4 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 14th (Thu) before leaving for Queenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Queenstown

— 4 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 list of things to see and do now includes Coronet Peak, Lake Wakatipu, Arrow River, and other attractions. Kids will appreciate attractions like Kiwi Birdlife Park and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Step off the beaten path and head to Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and The Remarkable Sweetshop - Queenstown. Step out of Queenstown to go to Wanaka and see Rippon Vineyard, which is approximately 1h 10 min away.

To find more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Queenstown road trip website.

Traveling by car from Dunedin to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. On the 18th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

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.