20 days in South Island Itinerary

20 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

20 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Nadi, Viti Levu
Fly:  8 h 15 min
1
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
2
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
3
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Bus:  6 h 15 min
4
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 3 nights
Bus:  4 h
5
Christchurch
— 5 nights
Bus:  3 h
6
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
Bus + Fly:  8 h 45 min
End: Nadi, Viti Levu

2
nights
Dunedin

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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, get curious at Otago Museum, then examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Dunedin Botanic Garden. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at St Clair Beach, then step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, and then look for all kinds of wild species at The Royal Albatross Centre.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Dunedin trip simple and quick.

Nadi, Fiji to Dunedin is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
The Royal Albatross Centre ©
The Royal Albatross Centre
Otago Museum ©
Otago Museum
St Clair Beach ©
St Clair Beach

4
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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, push the limits with an extreme tour, and cool off at Alpine Aqualand.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip tool .

You can drive from Dunedin to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can catch the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Alpine Aqualand ©
Alpine Aqualand
Boat Tours & Water Sports

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): take a memorable tour with Tours and then contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound. Keep things going the next day: get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Trout Observatory, and then explore the activities along Lake Te Anau.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 3.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to catch the bus to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trip

Boat Tours & Water Sports
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Trout Observatory ©
Trout Observatory
Boat Tours & Water Sports

3
nights
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) ©
Bring the kids along to Gillespies Beach and Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. Venture out of the city with trips to Fox Glacier (Moraine Walk, Fox Glacier South Side Walk, &more) and Franz Josef Glacier (in Franz Josef).

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) itinerary planner.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) in 6.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to take a bus to Christchurch.

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

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre ©
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

5
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Attractions like Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Canterbury Museum make great kid-friendly stops. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Christchurch: Geraldine (Susan Badcock Studio, Geraldine Observatory, &more) and Akaroa (Dolphin & Whale Watching & French Peak Wines). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, don't miss a visit to 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial, engage your brain at Yaldhurst Museum of Transport and Science, and enjoy some diversion at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

To find traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Christchurch tour itinerary planner.

You can take a bus from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Christchurch in 4 hours. In March, daily temperatures in Christchurch can reach 23°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to catch the bus to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums Transportation Tours

Side Trips

Geraldine, Akaroa
Find places to stay Mar 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre

3
nights
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sat): trek along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, then make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony, and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun): meet the residents at Kaikoura Marine Aquarium, then look for all kinds of wild species at Peninsula Seal Colony, then look for gifts at Kaikoura Cheese, and finally get in on the family fun at Fyffe View Ranch Adventure Park.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Kaikoura online trip maker .

Traveling by bus from Christchurch to Kaikoura takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Fyffe View Ranch Adventure Park ©
Fyffe View Ranch Adventure Park
Kaikoura Marine Aquarium ©
Kaikoura Marine Aquarium

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