36 days in South Island Itinerary

36 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip planner

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Make it your trip
1
Port Chalmers
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Timaru
— 1 night
Drive
3
Akaroa
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Drive
5
Havelock
— 1 night
Drive
6
Pohara
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Hokitika
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Bus
9
Wanaka
— 5 nights
Drive
10
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 1 night
Drive
11
Manapouri
— 3 nights
Drive
12
Chaslands
— 3 nights
Drive
13
Port Chalmers
— 2 nights

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Port Chalmers

— 2 nights
Port Chalmers is a suburb and the main port of the city of Dunedin, New Zealand, with a population of 3,000. Start off your visit on the 1st (Thu): stroll through Heyward Point Track and then browse for treasures at Hampden Stores.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Port Chalmers online road trip planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from your home destination to Port Chalmers. You will leave for Timaru on the 3rd (Sat).

Things to do in Port Chalmers

Shopping · Outdoors · Parks · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 1 — 3:

Timaru

— 1 night
Timaru is a port city in the southern Canterbury region of New Zealand, located 157 kilometres southwest of Christchurch and about 196 kilometres northeast of Dunedin on the eastern Pacific coast of the South Island. Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sat): shop like a local with York Street Gallery of Fine Art and then enjoy the sand and surf at Caroline Bay Beach.

For maps, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Timaru trip planner.

Traveling by car from Port Chalmers to Timaru takes 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Akaroa.

Things to do in Timaru

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 3 — 4:

Akaroa

— 4 nights

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.
Step out of Akaroa with an excursion to Little River Gallery in Little River--about 32 minutes away. The adventure continues: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, admire the natural beauty at Garden of Tane, take an in-depth tour of Akaroa Museum, and pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Peter's Anglican Church.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Akaroa tour planning website.

Drive from Timaru to Akaroa in 3 hours. June in Akaroa sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 1°C at night. You'll set off for Kaikoura on the 8th (Thu).

Things to do in Akaroa

Parks · Historic Sites · Shopping · Wineries

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jun 4 — 8:

Kaikoura

— 1 night
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 8th (Thu): make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura trip itinerary maker website.

Traveling by car from Akaroa to Kaikoura takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. On the 9th (Fri), you're off to Havelock.
Find places to stay Jun 8 — 9:
Highlights from your trip

Havelock

— 1 night
Havelock is a coastal village in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. On the 9th (Fri), take some stellar pictures from Onahau Point Lookout.

To find where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Havelock sightseeing app.

Getting from Kaikoura to Havelock by car takes about 2.5 hours. In June, plan for daily highs up to 15°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel to Pohara.
Find places to stay Jun 9 — 10:
Highlights from your trip

Pohara

— 4 nights
Step out of Pohara with an excursion to Abel Tasman Coast Track in Abel Tasman National Park--about 32 minutes away.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read our Pohara online sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Havelock to Pohara in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can travel to Hokitika.

Things to do in Pohara

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Shopping

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 10 — 14:

Hokitika

— 4 nights
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. Venture out of the city with trips to Greymouth (Monteith's Brewing Company & Shades Of Jade) and Truman Track (in Punakaiki). The adventure continues: shop like a local with Wilderness Gallery, tour the pleasant surroundings at Westcoast Treetop Walk & Cafe, take in the exciting artwork at Hokitika Craft Gallery, and contemplate the long history of Shantytown Heritage Park.

To see more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Hokitika online visit planner.

You can drive from Pohara to Hokitika in 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Hokitika

Shopping · Museums · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 14 — 18:

Fox Glacier

— 3 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
On the 19th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Fox Glacier Hiking Trails and then go for a walk through Lake Matheson Walk.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Fox Glacier online trip planner.

Drive from Hokitika to Fox Glacier in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Spas

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jun 18 — 21:

Wanaka

— 5 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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Maori Point Vineyard (in Tarras) and Cardrona (UnderDog Sled Dog Tours & Cardrona Alpine Resort). On the 23rd (Fri), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka, examine the collection at The World of Deer Museum & Speciality Shop, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

To see other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Wanaka tour app.

Take a bus from Fox Glacier to Wanaka in 5.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 21 — 26:

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 27th (Tue): get outside with Glacier Explorers and then trek along Hooker Valley Track.

Planning Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

Explore your travel options from Wanaka to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to travel to Manapouri.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 26 — 27:

Manapouri

— 3 nights
Manapouri is a small town in Southland / Fiordland, in the southwest corner of the South Island, in New Zealand. Change things up with these side-trips from Manapouri: Orepuki (Monkey Island & Gemstone Beach), Clifden Suspension Bridge (in Tuatapere) and Clifden Caves (in Eastern Bush). There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Manapouri Lake and see what you can catch with Fiordland Expeditions - Day Tours.

To see reviews, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the Manapouri trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Manapouri. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to travel to Chaslands.

Things to do in Manapouri

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 27 — Jul 1:

Chaslands

— 3 nights
Chaslands is known for nature. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic scenery at McLean Falls, enjoy the sand and surf at Papatowai Beach, stroll through Purakaunui Falls Walk, and explore the fascinating underground world of Cathedral Caves Walk.

To see reviews, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read Chaslands road trip tool.

Traveling by car from Manapouri to Chaslands takes 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Port Chalmers.

Things to do in Chaslands

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 1 — 4:

Port Chalmers

— 2 nights
On the 4th (Tue), see the interesting displays at Port Chalmers Maritime Museum and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iona Church. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Port Chalmers using our trip planner.

You can drive from Chaslands to Port Chalmers in 2.5 hours. You'll set off for home on the 6th (Thu).

Things to do in Port Chalmers

Wildlife · Museums · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 4 — 6:

South Island travel guide

4.6
Bodies of Water · Entertainment Centers · 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.