22 days in South Island Itinerary

22 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Blenheim
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Hanmer Springs
— 1 night
Drive
3
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Bus
5
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Fly

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Blenheim

— 2 nights
Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Beer Tastings & Tours and Forrest Wines Cellar Door. Step out of Blenheim to go to Picton and see Queen Charlotte Sound, which is approximately 30 minutes away. There's lots more to do: learn about winemaking at Framingham Wines, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and explore and take pictures at Picton Sound.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Blenheim trip planner.

Auckland to Blenheim is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and train. Traveling from Auckland in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Blenheim, with lows of 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can go by car to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Blenheim

Wineries · Tours · Breweries & Distilleries · Nature

Side Trips

Hanmer Springs

— 1 night

Springs

Action and relaxation are the reasons that most people head to Hanmer Springs, where natural thermal pools bubble among dramatic alpine surroundings.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Conical Hill, then stop by The Decadent Fudge Company, and finally take a peaceful walk through Hanmer Forest.

To see reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Hanmer Springs itinerary tool.

You can drive from Blenheim to Hanmer Springs in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of train and car. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Nature · Parks · Spas · Shopping

Fox Glacier

— 3 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Step off the beaten path and head to Hooker Valley Track and Spas. Go for a jaunt from Fox Glacier to Whataroa to see Nature & Wildlife Tours about 48 minutes away. There's lots more to do: take in the pleasant sights at Lake Matheson Walk, enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and stroll through Franz Josef Glacier.

To see reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Fox Glacier trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Hanmer Springs to Fox Glacier takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Queenstown

— 5 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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door and Arrowtown Chinese Settlement. Change things up with these side-trips from Queenstown: Cromwell (Highlands - Experience the Exceptional, Cromwell Heritage Precinct, &more). There's much more to do: learn about winemaking at Mt Rosa Wines, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu, take an in-depth tour of Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read Queenstown online visit planner.

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Queenstown in 4.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Wanaka

— 4 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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hot Tubs Omarama and Blue Pools Track. There's still lots to do: see the world from above with a helicopter tour, trek along Mount Iron Track, see the interesting displays at National Transport and Toy Museum, and do a tasting at Rippon Vineyard.

To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Wanaka itinerary builder.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Wanaka takes 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wanaka

Tours · Outdoors · Wineries · Parks

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to The Chasm Walk and Burt Munro Statue. Venture out of the city with trips to Invercargill (Queens Park & E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian) and Milford Sound (Homer Tunnel, Bowen Falls, &more). Spend the 19th (Sat) exploring at Doubtful Sound. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau vacation planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Wanaka to Te Anau. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

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 21st (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, enjoy the sand and surf at Aramoana Beach, then take in the exciting artwork at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and finally sample the tasty concoctions at Speight’s Brewery. On the 22nd (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Tunnel Beach Track, enjoy the scholastic atmosphere at University of Otago, then explore the historical opulence of Larnach Castle & Gardens, and finally stroll through Penguin Place.

To see photos, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Dunedin vacation maker tool.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Dunedin. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Historic Sites

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.