8 days in South Island Itinerary

8 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
— 1 day
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
— 2 nights
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to Wellington



— 1 day

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Fri): see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

For photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Christchurch trip planning tool.

Wellington to Christchurch is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Wellington in January, plan for little chillier nights in Christchurch, with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums · Parks

Fox Glacier

— 2 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): stroll through Fox Glacier South Side Walk, trek along Moraine Walk, trek along Sentinel Rock Walk, then take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, and finally hike along Peters Pool Walk. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Gillespies Beach, then take in the pleasant sights at Lake Matheson Walk, then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and finally hike along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Fox Glacier trip app.

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Fox Glacier takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches

Side Trip


— 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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Mon): view the masterpieces at Silver Fern Gallery, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens. Keep things going the next day: get interesting insight from Tours, have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Queenstown travel route planner.

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Queenstown in 4.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Fun & Games · Parks

Te Anau

— 3 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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. When in Te Anau, make a side trip to see Bowen Falls in Milford Sound, approximately Milford Sound away. There's much more to do: explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, hike along The Chasm Walk, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Te Anau.

To find maps, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Te Anau trip itinerary app.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

South Island travel guide

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.