7 days in South Island Itinerary

7 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Dunedin
— 1 day
Drive
2
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Christchurch
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Dunedin

— 1 day

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.
On the 28th (Mon), examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, and then hike along Sandfly Bay Track.

To see more things to do, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Dunedin trip itinerary site.

Auckland to Dunedin is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry, car, and bus; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums · Historic Sites · Trails · Parks

Queenstown

— 2 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.
On the 29th (Tue), identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, then rejuvenate with a delicious beverage at Vesta Design Boutique, and finally get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour. On the 30th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then race across the water with a speed boat tour, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and finally stroll through Queenstown Hill.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Queenstown driving holiday planner.

Drive from Dunedin to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Fun & Games

Fox Glacier

— 3 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Get some cultural insight at ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery and River Walk. Take a break from the city and head to Franz Josef Glacier and Sealy Tarns Track. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Fox Glacier: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Glencoe Walk & Kea Point Track). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, trek along Peters Pool Walk, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Moraine Walk.

To see ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Fox Glacier travel site.

You can drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier in 4.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) so you can go by car to Christchurch.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Christchurch

— 1 night

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 3rd (Sun), examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, then admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and finally don't miss a visit to Cardboard Cathedral.

To find traveler tips and other tourist information, read Christchurch day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Christchurch takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. January in Christchurch sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 13°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites

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.