8 days in South Island Itinerary

8 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Christchurch
Drive
2
Ashburton
— 1 night
Drive
3
Geraldine
— 1 night
Drive
4
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive
5
Alexandra
— 1 night
Drive
6
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
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24
25

Christchurch

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Barrys Bay Cheese has been added to your itinerary. On the 13th (Mon), look for gifts at Barrys Bay Cheese and then trek along Rakaia Gorge Walkway.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Christchurch day trip planner.

Wellington to Christchurch is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Wellington in September, expect a bit cooler with lows of 5°C in Christchurch. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Ashburton.

Things to do in Christchurch

Trails · Parks · Outdoors · Shopping

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 13 — 14:

Ashburton

— 1 night
Ashburton or Hakatere is a large town in the Canterbury Region, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Your day by day itinerary now includes Rakaia Salmon Statue. On the 13th (Mon), don't miss a visit to Smithfield Berries.

For more things to do, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Ashburton day trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Ashburton takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 16°C in September, and nighttime lows around 5°C. On the 14th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Geraldine.

Things to do in Ashburton

Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 13 — 14:

Geraldine

— 1 night
Geraldine or Heratini is a town in the Canterbury Region on the South Island of New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): stop by The Tin Shed, then identify plant and animal life at Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve, and then examine the collection at The Giant Jersey.

To find photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Geraldine itinerary maker website.

You can drive from Ashburton to Geraldine in an hour. You will have some time to spend on the 15th (Wed) before leaving for Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Geraldine

Museums · Childrens Museums · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 15:

Lake Tekapo

— 1 night
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
You've added Hooker Valley Track, Tekapo Springs, The Church of the Good Shepherd, and other attractions to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): explore the activities along Lake Tekapo, take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd, then boost your wellbeing at Tekapo Springs, then view the masterpieces at Burkes Pass Gallery, and finally hike along Hooker Valley Track.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Lake Tekapo online driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Geraldine to Lake Tekapo in 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Alexandra.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 15 — 16:

Alexandra

— 1 night
Alexandra is a town in the Central Otago district of the South Island of New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): learn about winemaking at Misha's Vineyard Tasting Room, discover the riches below the earth's surface at Goldfields Mining Centre, then do a tasting at Grey Ridge Vineyard, and finally don't miss a visit to Alexandra Mountain Clock.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, go to the Alexandra route app.

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Alexandra in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Alexandra

Wineries

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 16 — 17:

Queenstown

— 3 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.
To see photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Queenstown online sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Alexandra to Queenstown in 1.5 hours. On the 20th (Mon), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Trails
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 20:

South Island travel guide

4.6
Entertainment Centers · Bodies of Water · 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.