20 days in South Island Itinerary

20 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island tour planner

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

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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.
Take a break from the city and head to The Remarkables Ski Area and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. There's lots more to do: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at PowderPak Parks, and get interesting insight from Tours.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip planning site.

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to Queenstown. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) to allow time to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Winter Sports · Tours

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 4 nights
Popular historic sites such as River Walk and Church of Our Lady of the Alps are in your itinerary. Take a break from the city and head to Hooker Valley Track and Franz Josef Glacier. Get out of town with these interesting Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) side-trips: Franz Josef (Spas & Terrace Walk) and Fox Glacier (Helicopter Tours, Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, &more).

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip itinerary planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Queenstown to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Lake Tekapo.

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

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Lake Tekapo

— 1 night
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Sun): test the waters at Tekapo Springs, explore the activities along Lake Tekapo, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd.

Plan a trip to Lake Tekapo easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Explore your travel options from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Lake Tekapo with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Christchurch.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Historic Sites · Parks · Spas · Nature

Christchurch

— 4 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Ferrymead Heritage Park and Crater Rim Walkway. Get outdoors at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa and Port Hills. Go for a jaunt from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs to see Conical Hill about 1h 50 min away. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Mona Vale, explore the different monuments and memorials at Addington Cemetry, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Christchurch online sightseeing planner.

Getting from Lake Tekapo to Christchurch by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. June in Christchurch sees daily highs of 14°C and lows of 2°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to Dunedin.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Museums

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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): look for all kinds of wild species at The Royal Albatross Centre, appreciate the extensive heritage of Waikouaiti Beach, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Paul's Cathedral. Keep things going the next day: engage your brain at Otago Museum, examine the collection at The Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery, then don't miss a visit to Bellamys Gallery, then step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, and finally appreciate the history behind Robert Scott Memorial.

For reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Dunedin vacation planner.

Fly from Christchurch to Dunedin in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Te Anau

— 4 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.
Get in touch with nature at Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound. Explore Te Anau's surroundings by going to Milford Sound (Milford sound Hwy, Boat Tours & Water Sports, &more). There's still lots to do: Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves, indulge in some personalized pampering at Fiordland Massage Clinic, and look for all kinds of wild species at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

For reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Dunedin to Te Anau with the Route module. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can catch the bus back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

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.