8 days in South Island Itinerary

8 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island tour builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Christchurch
— 1 day
Drive
2
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive
3
Dunedin
— 1 night
Drive
4
Invercargill
— 1 night
Drive
5
Manapouri
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

Christchurch

— 1 day

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 11th (Wed), view the masterpieces at The Physics Room, admire the masterpieces at Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu), then look for gifts at Shopology, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral.

Make your Christchurch itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Auckland to Christchurch is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Traveling from Auckland in November, Christchurch is a bit cooler at night with lows of 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Shopping · Museums · Historic Sites

Lake Tekapo

— 1 night
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd and then boost your wellbeing at Tekapo Springs.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Lake Tekapo trip builder.

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can go by car to Dunedin.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Spas · Historic Sites

Dunedin

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): kick back and relax at St Clair Beach, steep yourself in history at Larnach Castle & Gardens, and then identify plant and animal life at The Royal Albatross Centre.

For more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Dunedin trip website.

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Dunedin in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to drive to Invercargill.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Invercargill

— 1 night
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Kick off your visit on the 14th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Demolition World, then take an in-depth tour of E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian, then see the interesting displays at Bill Richardson Transport World, and finally delve into the distant past at Invercargill Brewery.

Plan a Invercargill trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can drive from Dunedin to Invercargill in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to drive to Manapouri.

Things to do in Invercargill

Museums · Historic Sites

Manapouri

— 2 nights
Manapouri is a small town in Southland / Fiordland, in the southwest corner of the South Island, in New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): look for gifts at Wild Wool Gallery, see the world from above with Southern Lakes Helicopters, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Real Journeys. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Mon): explore the fascinating underground world of Clifden Caves, then don't miss a visit to Clifden Suspension Bridge, and then explore the activities along Manapouri Lake.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Manapouri online driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Invercargill to Manapouri in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Manapouri

Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Adventure

Side Trips

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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Peter's Anglican Church, and finally push the limits with an extreme tour. Keep things going the next day: browse the exhibits of Artbay Gallery, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and finally get your game on at Skyline Queenstown.

For where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown day trip app.

You can drive from Manapouri to Queenstown in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Fun & Games

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.