15 days in South Island Itinerary

15 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand route planner

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Route & dates

15 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: New Plymouth
Fly:  4​h
1
Blenheim
— Few hours
bus:  2​h
2
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h
3
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Queenstown
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
6
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus:  5​h 15​min
7
Dunedin
— 2 nights
+2
bus + foot + Fly:  5​h
End: New Plymouth

few
hours
Blenheim

Blenheim ©
Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Whites Bay.

To see ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Blenheim day trip planning app .

New Plymouth to Blenheim is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and ferry. March in Blenheim sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Blenheim

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Whites Bay ©
Whites Bay

2
nights
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Mon): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then trek along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Tue): stop by Kaikoura Cheese, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Peninsula Seal Colony.

To find maps, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura day trip planning tool .

You can take a bus from Blenheim to Kaikoura in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Start off your visit on the 27th (Wed): explore the activities along Lake Pukaki, take in nature's colorful creations at New Zealand Alpine Lavender, and then trek along Hooker Valley Track. On the next day, contemplate the waterfront views at Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, then stroll through Kea Point Track, and then get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

To find reviews, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Mt. Cook Village trip itinerary builder website .

You can drive from Kaikoura to Mt. Cook Village in 6.5 hours. Another option is to fly. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Pukaki, New Zealand Alpine Lavender
Find places to stay Mar 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook

2
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Fri): go for a walk through Tatare Tunnels Walk, then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, then take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, and finally take in the awesome beauty at Fox Glacier. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Gillespies Beach, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Matheson Walk, then hike along Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk, and finally stroll through Minnehaha Walk.

To find more things to do, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Fox Glacier travel route planning app .

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Fox Glacier in 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Mar 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier

2
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
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 31st (Sun): get your game on at Dark Ride, look for gifts at Wilson Gallery, then race across the water with a speed boat tour, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Moke Lake. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hike along Ben Lomond Track, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip itinerary builder tool .

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Queenstown in 4.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Moke Lake ©
Moke Lake
Speed Boats Tours

3
nights
Te Anau

Te Anau ©
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 Kayaking & Canoeing and Milford Sound. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) and Lake Te Anau. Step out of Te Anau to go to Milford Sound and see Bowen Falls, which is approximately 1h 05 min away. It doesn't end there: hike along The Chasm Walk.

For maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our Te Anau trip itinerary planning app .

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can catcht the bus to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Bowen Falls, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
Dunedin

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Penguin Place. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tunnel Beach Track and Olveston Historic Home. There's still lots to do: sample the tasty concoctions at Speight’s Brewery, look for all kinds of wild species at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, kick back and relax at Aramoana Beach, and make a trip to Bellamys Gallery.

To see reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Dunedin road trip planning tool .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Dunedin takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place

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