9 days in South Island Itinerary

9 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island tour itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Christchurch
— 1 day
Drive
2
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus
4
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, then take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, then enjoy some diversion at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Christchurch driving holiday planning tool.

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. Expect cooler evenings in Christchurch when traveling from Auckland in April, with lows around 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Fun & Games

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 2 nights
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Minnehaha Walk, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, then trek along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, and finally hike along Franz Josef Glacier. On the 11th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: hike along Sealy Tarns Track and then head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) day trip site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Christchurch to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

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.
Go for a jaunt from Te Anau to Milford Sound to see Bowen Falls about 1h 5 min away. Spend the 13th (Tue) exploring at Doubtful Sound. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Milford Sound, take some stellar pictures from Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, trek along The Chasm Walk, and look for all kinds of wild species at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

For more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau trip itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Te Anau. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

Queenstown

— 3 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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, take a memorable tour with Tours, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and push the limits with an extreme tour.

To see maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip itinerary planning site.

Getting from Te Anau to Queenstown by bus takes about 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Tours · Outdoors · 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.