50 days in South Island Itinerary

50 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Queenstown
— 6 nights
Drive
2
Fox Glacier
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Abel Tasman National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Blenheim
— 5 nights
Fly
6
Christchurch
— 6 nights
Drive
7
Akaroa
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Lake Tekapo
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Wanaka
— 5 nights
Drive
10
Te Anau
— 7 nights
Drive
11
Dunedin
— 5 nights
Fly

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Queenstown

— 6 nights

Shallow Bay

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 parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu, and savor the flavors at Food & Drink.

For ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Queenstown road trip planning site.

Brisbane, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wineries

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 1 — 7:
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Fox Glacier

— 4 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Step out of Fox Glacier to go to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) and see Hooker Valley Track, which is approximately 46 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, stroll through Moraine Walk, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

For where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Fox Glacier trip planner.

You can drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 7 — 11:
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Kaikoura

— 3 nights
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kaikoura is known for wildlife, trails, and adventure. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, sample some tasty brews at Beer School, hike along Ohau Stream Walk, and stroll through Peninsula Seal Colony.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the Kaikoura travel website.

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Kaikoura in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours
Find places to stay Feb 11 — 14:
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Abel Tasman National Park

— 2 nights
Pristine blue water, immaculate white sand, and a thick, temperate rainforest make Abel Tasman National Park a natural jewel on the northern coast of Tasmania's South Island.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Tue): stroll through Harwoods Hole Track, then stroll through Tonga Island Marine Reserve, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Wainui Falls Track. On your second day here, hike along Abel Tasman Coast Track.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Abel Tasman National Park trip itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Kaikoura to Abel Tasman National Park. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to travel to Blenheim.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 14 — 16:
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Blenheim

— 5 nights
Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
Get out of town with these interesting Blenheim side-trips: Boat Tours & Water Sports (in Havelock), Nelson (Centre of New Zealand & Nelson Provincial Museum) and Picton (Queen Charlotte Track, Queen Charlotte Sound, &more). Dedicate the 17th (Thu) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. It doesn't end there: examine the collection at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and do a tasting at Cloudy Bay.

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

Explore your travel options from Abel Tasman National Park to Blenheim with the Route module. In February, daily temperatures in Blenheim can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) to allow enough time to fly to Christchurch.

Things to do in Blenheim

Tours · Parks · Wineries · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 16 — 21:
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Christchurch

— 6 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 24th (Thu), spend the day riding on TranzAlpine Train. There's much more to do: walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, get to know the resident critters at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral, and let little ones run wild at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

For photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Christchurch trip itinerary planning tool.

Getting from Blenheim to Christchurch by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Blenheim in February, Christchurch is slightly colder at night with lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Akaroa.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Transportation · Fun & Games · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 21 — 27:
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Akaroa

— 3 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 The Garden at French Farm, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Saint Peter's Anglican Church, and view the masterpieces at The Giants House.

To find photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Akaroa trip itinerary planning tool.

Getting from Christchurch to Akaroa by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. February in Akaroa sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Akaroa

Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 27 — Mar 2:
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Lake Tekapo

— 3 nights
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Venture out of the city with trips to Mt. Cook Village (Mueller Hut Route, Aoraki/Mt. Cook, &more). There's more to do: explore the activities along Lake Tekapo and take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Lake Tekapo vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Akaroa to Lake Tekapo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 2 — 5:
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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.
When in Wanaka, make a side trip to see Waiatoto River Safari in Haast, approximately Haast away. Spend the 6th (Sun) exploring nature at Mount Aspiring National Park. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Lake Wanaka, learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard, trek along Roys Peak Track, and hit the slopes at Wanaka.

To see ratings, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Wanaka trip itinerary maker app.

Explore your travel options from Lake Tekapo to Wanaka with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 5 — 10:
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Te Anau

— 7 nights
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.
Take a break from Te Anau with a short trip to Boat Tours & Water Sports in Milford Sound, about 1 hour away. Spend the 12th (Sat) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 14th (Mon), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk, hike along Kepler Track, and explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

To see reviews, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the Te Anau journey website.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Wanaka to Te Anau. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Thu) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 10 — 17:
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Dunedin

— 5 nights

Edinburgh of the South

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Dunedin: Nugget Point/Tokata Walks (in Balclutha) and Central Cycle Trail Co. (in Clyde). There's much more to do: examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Royal Albatross Centre, make a trip to The World's Steepest Street, and contemplate the long history of Larnach Castle & Gardens.

Plan trip to Dunedin with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Te Anau to Dunedin. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums · Tours · Historic Sites · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 17 — 22:
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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.