42 days in South Island Itinerary

42 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island itinerary planner

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Make it your trip
1
Picton
— 1 night
Drive
2
Westport
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Punakaiki
Drive
4
Greymouth
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Fox Glacier
— 1 night
Drive
6
Haast
— 1 night
Drive
7
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Bus
8
Cromwell
— 1 night
Drive
9
Alexandra
— 1 day
Drive
10
Roxburgh
— 1 night
Drive
11
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive
12
Moeraki
Drive
13
Oamaru
— 1 night
Drive
14
Omarama
— 1 night
Drive
15
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 1 night
Drive
16
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive
17
Waipara
— 1 night
Drive
18
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Drive
19
Blenheim
— 1 night
Drive
20
Renwick
— 3 nights
Drive
21
Motueka
— 1 night
Drive
22
Collingwood
— 1 night
Drive
23
Puponga
— 1 night
Drive
24
Abel Tasman National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
25
Maruia
— 1 night
Drive
26
Akaroa
— 10 nights
Drive

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Picton

— 1 night

Gateway to the South Island

Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
On the 16th (Wed), stroll through Queen Charlotte Track.

To see maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Picton journey planner.

If you are flying in from Denmark, the closest major aiport is Wellington International Airport. In February, daily temperatures in Picton can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Westport.

Things to do in Picton

Trails · Outdoors · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Westport

— 2 nights
Westport is a town in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand. Your day by day itinerary now includes Westport I-Site. Start off your visit on the 17th (Thu): sample the tasty concoctions at West Coast Brewery, stroll through Kawatiri River Trail, and then stroll through The Old Ghost Road. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Cape Foulwind Walkway and then get all the information you need at Westport I-Site.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Westport trip planner.

Traveling by car from Picton to Westport takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Punakaiki.

Things to do in Westport

Trails · Outdoors · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries

Punakaiki

Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. For traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read Punakaiki trip itinerary maker tool.

Getting from Westport to Punakaiki by car takes about an hour. On the 19th (Sat), you're off to Greymouth.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature

Greymouth

— 2 nights
Greymouth is the largest town in the West Coast region in the South Island of New Zealand, and the seat of the Grey District Council. Your day by day itinerary now includes Hokitika Gorge Walk as well as Greymouth i-SITE Visitor Information Centre. On the next day, stroll through Hokitika Gorge Walk, get answers to all your questions at Greymouth i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, then hike along Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk, and finally hike along Truman Track.

For where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, use the Greymouth trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Punakaiki to Greymouth takes an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Greymouth

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Fox Glacier

— 1 night
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Lake Matheson Walk has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 21st (Mon): go for a walk through Lake Matheson Walk and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Peters Pool Walk.

To see ratings, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Fox Glacier trip itinerary tool.

Getting from Greymouth to Fox Glacier by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Haast.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Trails · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trip

Haast

— 1 night
Haast is an area in the Westland District territorial authority on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Your day by day itinerary now includes Ship Creek Walks as well as Roaring Billy Falls. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Tue): trek along Wharekai Te Kou, then admire the sheer force of Roaring Billy Falls, and then kick back and relax at Ship Creek Walks.

For reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Haast travel planner.

Drive from Fox Glacier to Haast in 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Haast

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Rippon Vineyard, Bike Lounge, Mount Iron Track, and other attractions. Start off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): do a tasting at Rippon Vineyard, head outdoors with Bike Lounge, stroll through Roys Peak Track, then stroll through Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain walks, and finally admire the sheer force of Thunder Creek Falls. On the 24th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Mount Iron Track and then explore the activities along Lake Wanaka.

To find photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Wanaka day trip planning site.

Explore your travel options from Haast to Wanaka with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to catch the bus to Cromwell.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Cromwell

— 1 night
Cromwell is a town in Central Otago in the Otago region of New Zealand.Cromwell is between State Highway 6 (linking to Wanaka, 50 km north, and Queenstown, 60 km west) and State Highway 8 leading to the Lindis Pass, 75 km northeast, and Alexandra, 33 km south. Your day by day itinerary now includes Cromwell Fruit Sculpture. Start off your visit on the 25th (Fri): explore the activities along Kawarau River and then pause for some photo ops at Cromwell Fruit Sculpture.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Cromwell holiday site.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Cromwell takes 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to drive to Alexandra.

Things to do in Cromwell

Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Alexandra

— 1 day
Alexandra is a town in the Central Otago district of the South Island of New Zealand. On the 26th (Sat), make a trip to Alexandra Mountain Clock.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Alexandra trip planner.

Alexandra is just a short distance from Cromwell. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Roxburgh.
Highlights from your trip

Roxburgh

— 1 night
Roxburgh, is a small New Zealand town of about 600 people in Central Otago. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sun): hike along Roxburgh Gorge Trail.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Roxburgh trip planner.

Traveling by car from Alexandra to Roxburgh takes an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) early enough to drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Roxburgh

Trails · Outdoors · Parks

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes The Royal Albatross Centre, Otago Farmers Market, Speight’s Brewery, and other attractions you added. Start off your visit on the 28th (Mon): browse the eclectic array of goods at Otago Farmers Market, then make a trip to The World's Steepest Street, and then stroll through The Royal Albatross Centre. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: indulge your thirst for a good beer at Speight’s Brewery, explore the historical opulence of Larnach Castle & Gardens, and then enjoy the sand and surf at St Clair Beach.

To see photos, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read our Dunedin trip builder app.

Getting from Roxburgh to Dunedin by car takes about 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to drive to Moeraki.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks · Wildlife · Shopping · Historic Sites

Moeraki

Moeraki is a small fishing village on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. For other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Moeraki trip itinerary builder site.

Traveling by car from Dunedin to Moeraki takes 1.5 hours. You'll set off for Oamaru on the 1st (Tue).

Things to do in Moeraki

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Shopping

Oamaru

— 1 night
Your day by day itinerary now includes Elephant Rocks, Moeraki Boulders Beach and Steampunk HQ. On the 2nd (Wed), see the interesting displays at Steampunk HQ, then don't miss a visit to Moeraki Boulders Beach, and then don't miss a visit to Elephant Rocks.

To find maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Oamaru trip app.

You can drive from Moeraki to Oamaru in an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Omarama.

Things to do in Oamaru

Museums

Side Trip

Omarama

— 1 night
Omarama is a small township at the junction of State Highways 8 and 83, near the southern end of the Mackenzie Basin, in the South Island of New Zealand. Your day by day itinerary now includes Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon Shop as well as Clay Cliff. On the 3rd (Thu), relax in the rural setting at Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon Shop, then relax in the rural setting at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Clay Cliff.

To find photos, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read Omarama day trip app.

You can drive from Oamaru to Omarama in 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Omarama

Nature · Parks

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 1 night
Your day by day itinerary now includes Aoraki Mount Cook National Park Visitor Centre as well as Sealy Tarns Track. Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): get answers to all your questions at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park Visitor Centre, hike along Sealy Tarns Track, and then hike along Hooker Valley Track.

For traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) planner.

Explore your travel options from Omarama to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Lake Tekapo.

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

Trails · Outdoors · Parks

Lake Tekapo

— 1 night
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
You've now added Lake Pukaki to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki.

To see more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Lake Tekapo trip planning tool.

Explore your travel options from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Lake Tekapo with the Route module. You will leave for Waipara on the 5th (Sat).

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Waipara

— 1 night
Waipara is a small town in north Canterbury, on the banks of the Waipara River. For traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Waipara trip itinerary builder app.

Getting from Lake Tekapo to Waipara by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive. March in Waipara sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 11°C at night. On the 6th (Sun), you're off to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Waipara

Wineries · Tours · Parks · Nature

Kaikoura

— 1 night
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Kaikoura trip itinerary builder tool.

You can drive from Waipara to Kaikoura in 2 hours. You'll set off for Blenheim on the 7th (Mon).

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Blenheim

— 1 night
Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
For more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Blenheim trip maker app.

You can drive from Kaikoura to Blenheim in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in March, and nighttime lows around 16°C. On the 8th (Tue), you're off to Renwick.

Things to do in Blenheim

Tours · Outdoors · Wineries · Parks

Renwick

— 3 nights
Renwick is a small town in Marlborough, New Zealand, close to the south bank of the Wairau River. Discover out-of-the-way places like Framingham Wines and Dog Point Vineyard.

To find reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Renwick trip planner.

Renwick is very close to Blenheim. In March, daytime highs in Renwick are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) early enough to drive to Motueka.

Things to do in Renwick

Wineries

Motueka

— 1 night
Tasman Golf Club has been added to your itinerary. On the 12th (Sat), stroll through Kaiteriteri Beach and then play a few rounds at Tasman Golf Club.

For maps, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Motueka road trip app.

Traveling by car from Renwick to Motueka takes 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to drive to Collingwood.

Things to do in Motueka

Outdoors · Beaches · Golf · Parks

Side Trips

Collingwood

— 1 night
Collingwood is a town in the north-west corner of the South Island of New Zealand along Golden Bay. On the 13th (Sun), stroll through Farewell Spit Nature Experience.

To find other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Collingwood itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Motueka to Collingwood in 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) early enough to drive to Puponga.

Things to do in Collingwood

Parks · Wildlife

Puponga

— 1 night
To find ratings, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Puponga trip planner.

Puponga is just a short distance from Collingwood. On the 14th (Mon), you'll travel to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Puponga

Trails · Outdoors · Parks · Nature

Abel Tasman National Park

— 3 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.
On the 14th (Mon), hike the day away at Abel Tasman Coast Track.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Abel Tasman National Park trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Puponga to Abel Tasman National Park with the Route module. On the 17th (Thu), you'll travel to Maruia.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Trails · Outdoors · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Maruia

— 1 night
Maruia is a locality in the West Coast region of New Zealand. Your day by day itinerary now includes Lewis Pass. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): get great views at Lewis Pass.

To find more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Maruia vacation planning app.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Abel Tasman National Park to Maruia. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Fri) to allow time for travel to Akaroa.

Things to do in Maruia

Scenic Drive · Outdoors
Highlights from your trip

Akaroa

— 10 nights

Long Harbour

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
Akaroa is known for wildlife, parks, and adventure. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: admire the natural beauty at The Giants House.

To find other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Akaroa trip planner.

Traveling by car from Maruia to Akaroa takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In March, daily temperatures in Akaroa can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. You will leave for home on the 28th (Mon).

Things to do in Akaroa

Museums · Shopping · Parks
Highlights from your trip

South Island travel guide

4.5
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.