9 days in South Island Itinerary

9 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip planner

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

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Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 3 nights
Family-friendly places like Hooker Valley Track and Glacier Explorers will thrill your kids. Visiting Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier Hiking Trails will get you outdoors. Get out of town with these interesting Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) side-trips: Sentinel Rock Walk (in Franz Josef) and Fox Glacier (Helicopter Tours, Gillespies Beach, &more).

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) vacation planner.

Auckland to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Beaches

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.
Get outdoors at Milford Sound and Westray Adventures - Horse Treks & Quad Tours. Step out of Te Anau to go to Milford Sound and see Milford sound Hwy, which is approximately 56 minutes away. There's much more to do: explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, look for all kinds of wild species at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, get interesting insight from Tours, and explore the activities along Lake Te Anau.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau online vacation planner.

You can take a bus from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Te Anau in 7 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Tours · Wildlife

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Sun): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, race across the water with a speed boat tour, then get interesting insight from Tours, and finally get interesting insight from Tours.

To find ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip builder tool.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · 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.