36 days in South Island Itinerary

36 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip maker

Make it your trip
1
Nelson
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Saint Arnaud
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Murchison
— 1 night
Drive
4
Westport
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Charleston
— 1 night
Drive
6
Arthur's Pass National Park
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Christchurch
— 21 nights

S M T W T F S
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Nelson

— 2 nights

Top of the South

Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Your day by day itinerary now includes The Suter Art Gallery Nelson. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Tue): don't miss a visit to The Suter Art Gallery Nelson, look for gifts at Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith, then admire the natural beauty at Botanical Gardens, and finally admire the natural beauty at Queen's Gardens.

For maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Nelson online journey planner.

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to Nelson. You'll have a few hours on the 11th (Wed) to wrap things up before traveling to Saint Arnaud.

Things to do in Nelson

Parks · Shopping
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 11:
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Saint Arnaud

— 3 nights
Saint Arnaud is a small alpine village located in the north of New Zealand's South Island, west of the mountains of the Saint Arnaud Range and 90 kilometres southwest of Nelson near the historic Tophouse Settlement. Saint Arnaud is known for nature, trails, and winter sports. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Rotoiti and explore the landscape on two wheels at Teetotal Mountain Bike Tracks.

To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Saint Arnaud journey planning site.

Drive from Nelson to Saint Arnaud in 2 hours. You'll have a few hours on the 14th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Murchison.

Things to do in Saint Arnaud

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Nov 11 — 14:
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Murchison

— 1 night
Murchison is a town in the Tasman Region of the South Island of New Zealand. Ultimate Descents New Zealand has been added to your itinerary. On the 14th (Sat), get active on the water at Ultimate Descents New Zealand. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get in on the family fun at Buller Gorge Swing Bridge and then take in the dramatic scenery at Maruia Falls.

For reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Murchison online holiday planner.

Drive from Saint Arnaud to Murchison in an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to drive to Westport.

Things to do in Murchison

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure
Find places to stay Nov 14 — 15:
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Westport

— 3 nights
Westport is a town in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand. Your day by day itinerary now includes Oparara Basin Walking Tracks as well as West Coast Surf. There's lots more to do: take in the pleasant sights at The Old Ghost Road, sample the tasty concoctions at West Coast Brewery, tour the pleasant surroundings at Cape Foulwind Walkway, and don't miss a visit to Mitchells Gully Gold Mine.

To see reviews, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Westport trip planner.

Drive from Murchison to Westport in 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can drive to Charleston.

Things to do in Westport

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 15 — 18:
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Charleston

— 1 night
Charleston is a village in the South Island of New Zealand located 30 km south of Westport. Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Mitchells Gully Gold Mine and then get a new perspective on things with Underworld Adventures Ltd.

To see photos, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Charleston online travel planner.

Charleston is very close to Westport. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Arthur's Pass National Park.

Things to do in Charleston

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure
Find places to stay Nov 18 — 19:
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Arthur's Pass National Park

— 4 nights
Your day by day itinerary now includes Lake Brunner. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Arthur's Pass National Park: Hagley Park (in Christchurch) and Castle Hill (Cave Stream Scenic Reserve & Hogs Back Track).

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Arthur's Pass National Park day trip planning tool.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Charleston to Arthur's Pass National Park. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Arthur's Pass National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 19 — 23:
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Christchurch

— 21 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Get out of town with these interesting Christchurch side-trips: Waipara Springs Winery (in Waipara), Breedenbroek Gardens (in Rangiora) and Lavender Fields (in Waikuku Beach). On the 25th (Wed), spend a fun day on foot with Walking tours. There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, and pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral.

To see reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip planning site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Arthur's Pass National Park to Christchurch. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in November, and nighttime lows around 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 23 — Dec 14:
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South Island travel guide

4.5
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.