9 days in South Island Itinerary

9 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip builder

Make it your trip
— 1 day
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
— 3 nights
Te Anau
— 2 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 23rd (Fri): see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and then walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Plan my trip to Christchurch with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

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. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Wellington in October since evenings lows in Christchurch dip to 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) so you can drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums · Parks

Fox Glacier

— 3 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Kids will enjoy Skydive Franz Josef & Fox Glacier and Fox Glacier Hiking Trails. Step out of Fox Glacier to go to Franz Josef and see Sentinel Rock Walk, which is approximately 32 minutes away. There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Franz Josef Glacier, hike along Minnehaha Walk, see what you can catch with Franz Josef Wilderness Tours, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Gillespies Beach.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier trip itinerary builder.

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 your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours

Side Trip


— 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.
Kids will enjoy Spas and Skyline Queenstown. Next up on the itinerary: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu, browse the exhibits of Artbay Gallery, and whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Queenstown day trip website.

Getting from Fox Glacier to Queenstown by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Parks · Outdoors · Nature

Te Anau

— 2 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.
On the 30th (Fri), take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then explore the activities along Milford Sound. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves and then take an unforgettable tour with Southern Lakes Helicopters.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Te Anau trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trips

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.