23 days in South Island Itinerary

23 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Christchurch
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Fox Glacier
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Bus
4
Te Anau
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Dunedin
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Christchurch: Akaroa (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Saint Peter's Anglican Church). On the 22nd (Tue), spend the day riding on TranzAlpine Train. Next up on the itinerary: take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, admire the masterpieces at Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu), explore and take pictures at Mona Vale, and enjoy breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola.

To see maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip planner.

Ottawa, Canada to Christchurch is an approximately 24-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Ottawa to Christchurch is 17 hours. When traveling from Ottawa in November, plan for much hotter days in Christchurch, with highs around 22°C, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation · Tours · Museums · Parks

Side Trip

Fox Glacier

— 4 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Fox Glacier: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Hooker Valley Track, Glencoe Walk, &more). There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, trek along Moraine Walk, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach.

To see ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Fox Glacier vacation website.

Getting from Christchurch to Fox Glacier by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Queenstown: Mount Creighton (Glenorchy-Queenstown Road & Little Paradise Dream Garden). And it doesn't end there: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Queenstown takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Breweries & Distilleries · Parks

Side Trip

Te Anau

— 5 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 out of Te Anau with an excursion to Boat Tours & Water Sports in Milford Sound--about 1 hour away. Spend the 3rd (Sat) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 5th (Mon), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, hike along Kepler Track, and stroll through Hollyford Track.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Te Anau attractions planner.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Dunedin

— 4 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.
Dunedin is known for wildlife, historic sites, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, don't miss a visit to The World's Steepest Street, view the masterpieces at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and look and learn at Otago Museum.

To find photos, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Dunedin tour itinerary planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Dunedin. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Nature

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.