17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
Nelson
— 1 night
2
Blenheim
— 2 nights
3
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
4
Christchurch
— 3 nights
5
Akaroa
— 1 night
6
Geraldine
— 1 night
7
Hanmer Springs
— 1 night
8
Lake Tekapo
— 3 nights
9
Twizel
— 2 nights

S M T W T F S
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16

1
night
Nelson

Nelson ©

Top of the South

Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Tue): take an in-depth tour of Nelson Provincial Museum and then get interesting insight from Abel Tasman Charters - Day Tours. On the 30th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith, then examine the collection at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum, then head outdoors with SUPSTAR, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaiteriteri Beach.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Nelson trip planner.

Auckland to Nelson is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, ferry, and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Blenheim.

Things to do in Nelson

Outdoors · Tours · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Abel Tasman Charters - Day Tours ©
Abel Tasman Charters - Day Tours
World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum ©
World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum
Nelson Provincial Museum ©
Nelson Provincial Museum

2
nights
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 31st (Thu): examine the collection at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, then admire the natural beauty at Upton Oaks Garden, and then take in the local highlights with Sea Kayak Adventures.

To find ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Blenheim road trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Nelson to Blenheim takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Blenheim sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Fri) to allow time for the car ride to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Blenheim

Outdoors · Adventure · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Sea Kayak Adventures ©
Sea Kayak Adventures
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Pollard Park ©
Pollard Park

2
nights
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 1st (Fri), hike along Ohau Stream Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat): trek along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Kaikoura travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Blenheim to Kaikoura takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) so you can go by car to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Trails
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Ohau Point Seal Colony ©
Ohau Point Seal Colony

3
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kids will enjoy TranzAlpine Train and Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Next up on the itinerary: take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, examine the collection at Quake City, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Southern Encounter, and let little ones run wild at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch attractions planner.

You can drive from Kaikoura to Christchurch in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. In January in Christchurch, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to drive to Akaroa.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation · Tours · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum

1
night
Akaroa

Long Harbour

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
On the 7th (Thu), take in nature's colorful creations at The Garden at French Farm, take in the exciting artwork at The Giants House, then don't miss a visit to Banks Peninsula War Memorial and Grounds, then take in the exciting artwork at Lava, and finally get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Akaroa journey planner.

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Akaroa takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Akaroa are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can travel to Geraldine.

Things to do in Akaroa

Outdoors · Shopping · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
The Giants House ©
The Giants House
Banks Peninsula War Memorial and Grounds ©

1
night
Geraldine

Geraldine ©
Geraldine or Heratini is a town in the Canterbury Region on the South Island of New Zealand. Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): trot along with Peel Forest Horse Trekking, then look for all kinds of wild species at Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve, and then look and learn at Geraldine Observatory.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Geraldine trip tool.

Getting from Akaroa to Geraldine by car takes about 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can travel to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Geraldine

Museums · Childrens Museums · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Geraldine Observatory ©
Geraldine Observatory
Peel Forest Horse Trekking ©
Peel Forest Horse Trekking

1
night
Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs ©

Springs

Action and relaxation are the reasons that most people head to Hanmer Springs, where natural thermal pools bubble among dramatic alpine surroundings.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sat): stop by The Decadent Fudge Company, get outside with Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre, get a dose of the wild on Hanmer Horse Trekking, then take in the exciting artwork at Majuba Gallery, and finally witness a stunning natural landmark at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa.

To see photos, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Hanmer Springs trip itinerary planning app.

You can drive from Geraldine to Hanmer Springs in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can go by car to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Outdoors · Nature · Parks · Spas
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa ©
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre ©
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre
Hanmer Horse Trekking ©
Hanmer Horse Trekking

3
nights
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo ©
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Bring the kids along to Hooker Valley Track and Red Tarns Track. Get out of town with these interesting Lake Tekapo side-trips: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Kea Point Track, Glencoe Walk, &more) and Glacier Explorers (in Mt. Cook Village). There's more to do: explore the activities along Lake Tekapo and pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd.

For where to stay, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Lake Tekapo travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Hanmer Springs to Lake Tekapo takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can drive to Twizel.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Glacier Explorers ©
Glacier Explorers
Sealy Tarns Track ©
Sealy Tarns Track

2
nights
Twizel

Twizel ©
On the 13th (Wed), take an unforgettable tour with The Helicopter Line Mount Cook, head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki, and finally relax in the rural setting at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic natural features at Clay Cliff, relax and rejuvenate at Hot Tubs Omarama, and then relax in the rural setting at High Country Salmon.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Twizel trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Twizel takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Twizel

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
The Helicopter Line Mount Cook ©
The Helicopter Line Mount Cook

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