15 days in South Island Itinerary

15 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island tour planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Queenstown
Bus
2
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Ashburton
— 1 night
Drive
5
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive
6
Hokitika
— 1 night
Drive
7
Franz Josef
— 1 night
Drive
8
Fox Glacier
Drive
9
Haast
— 1 night
Drive
10
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Bus
11
Queenstown
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
26
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31
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15

Queenstown

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
For photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Queenstown journey planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. Traveling from Melbourne to Queenstown, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. On the 31st (Fri), you'll travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Trails
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Milford Sound. Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

To find where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau online trip itinerary builder.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:

Dunedin

— 2 nights

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Cadbury World Experience, Penguin Place and Taieri Gorge Railway. Start off your visit on the 2nd (Sun): indulge in some culinary diversions at Cadbury World Experience and then tour the old-fashioned way with Taieri Gorge Railway. Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at The Royal Albatross Centre, identify plant and animal life at Penguin Place, identify plant and animal life at Otago Peninsula, then contemplate the long history of Larnach Castle & Gardens, then examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and finally appreciate the history behind Robert Scott Memorial.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Dunedin trip itinerary planning site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Te Anau to Dunedin. You'll set off for Ashburton on the 4th (Tue).

Things to do in Dunedin

Tours · Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:

Ashburton

— 1 night
Ashburton or Hakatere is a large town in the Canterbury Region, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. To see ratings, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read Ashburton trip itinerary maker app.

Drive from Dunedin to Ashburton in 4 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 13°C. You'll set off for Christchurch on the 5th (Wed).

Things to do in Ashburton

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:

Christchurch

— 1 night

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Cashel Street, Cardboard Cathedral, 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial, and other attractions you added. Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, see the interesting displays at Quake City, take in panoramic vistas at Christchurch Gondola, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral, then make a trip to 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial, and finally shop like a local with Cashel Street.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Christchurch online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Ashburton to Christchurch takes 1.5 hours. January in Christchurch sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 13°C at night. You'll set off for Hokitika on the 6th (Thu).

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums · Transportation · Shopping · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:

Hokitika

— 1 night
Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island, 40km south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. Your day by day itinerary now includes Hokitika Gorge Walk, Box of Delights, The Old Fashioned Candy Shop and Hokitika Glass Studio. Start off your visit on the 6th (Thu): look for gifts at Hokitika Glass Studio and then get outside with Glow Worm Dell. On the 7th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Hokitika Beach, then stop by Box of Delights, The Old Fashioned Candy Shop, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Hokitika Gorge Walk.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Hokitika day trip planner.

Fly from Christchurch to Hokitika in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Hokitika

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:

Franz Josef

— 1 night
Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Franz Josef trip builder.

Getting from Hokitika to Franz Josef by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Trails · Parks · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:
Highlights from your trip

Fox Glacier

A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
On the 8th (Sat), take in the pleasant sights at Lake Matheson Walk.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier journey maker site.

Fox Glacier is just a short distance from Franz Josef. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can go by car to Haast.
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 9:
Highlights from your trip

Haast

— 1 night
Haast is an area in the Westland District territorial authority on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. On the 9th (Sun), get great views at Knights Point Lookout and then kick back and relax at Ship Creek Walks.

For maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Haast tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Fox Glacier to Haast by car takes about 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Haast

Beaches · Trails · Parks · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 9:

Wanaka

— 4 nights
Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
Puzzling World has been added to your itinerary. There's lots more to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Aspiring National Park, take a memorable drive along Haast Pass, hit the slopes at Wanaka, and trek along Mount Iron Track.

To find reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Wanaka trip maker website.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Haast to Wanaka. You will leave for Queenstown on the 13th (Thu).

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 9 — 13:

Queenstown

— 1 night

Shallow Bay

On the 14th (Fri), stroll around Village Green.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown online trip maker.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 3 hours. On the 14th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 14:
Highlights from your trip

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.