10 days in South Island Itinerary

10 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Bus
1
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Cromwell
— 1 night
Drive
3
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive
5
Timaru
— 1 night
Drive
6
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive
7
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Drive

S M T W T F S
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17

Te Anau

— 2 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.
On the 8th (Thu), take some stellar pictures from Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

To see ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Te Anau journey builder site.

Queenstown to Te Anau is an approximately 4-hour bus ride. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel to Cromwell.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Find places to stay Apr 8 — 10:

Cromwell

— 1 night
Cromwell is a town in Central Otago in the Otago region of New Zealand.Cromwell is between State Highway 6 (linking to Wanaka, 50 km north, and Queenstown, 60 km west) and State Highway 8 leading to the Lindis Pass, 75 km northeast, and Alexandra, 33 km south. Start off your visit on the 10th (Sat): do a tasting at Weaver Estate Wines and then grab your bike and head to Otago Central Rail Trail.

To find maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Cromwell trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Cromwell. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Cromwell

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Wineries

Side Trips

Find places to stay Apr 10 — 11:

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook and then stroll through Sealy Tarns Track. Keep things going the next day: hike along Hooker Valley Track, then surround yourself with nature on Glacier Explorers, and then trek along Red Tarns Track.

For reviews, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) driving holiday planner.

Explore your travel options from Cromwell to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) with the Route module. You will have some time to spend on the 13th (Tue) before leaving for Lake Tekapo.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 13:

Lake Tekapo

— 1 night
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Tue): explore the galleries of Burkes Pass Gallery, pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo.

To find more things to do, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Lake Tekapo trip planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Lake Tekapo. You will have some time to spend on the 14th (Wed) before leaving for Timaru.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Apr 13 — 14:

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. Kick off your visit on the 14th (Wed): see the interesting displays at South Canterbury Museum, then look for gifts at Tuesday, and then kick back and relax at Caroline Bay Beach.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Timaru trip app.

Getting from Lake Tekapo to Timaru by car takes about 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Thu) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Timaru

Beaches · Parks · Outdoors · Museums
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 15:

Christchurch

— 1 night

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Thu): take a memorable ride with TranzAlpine Train.

To find photos, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Christchurch trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Timaru to Christchurch in 2.5 hours. In April, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 8°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation · Tours
Find places to stay Apr 15 — 16:
Highlights from your trip

Kaikoura

— 1 night
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 16th (Fri), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then hike along Ohau Stream Walk, and then don't miss a visit to Ohau Point Seal Colony.

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

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Kaikoura takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. You'll have a few hours on the 17th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Apr 16 — 17:

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.

Central Otago travel guide

4.4
Biking Trails · Wineries & Vineyards · Landmarks
Discover vivid seasons and rocky, mountainous landscapes; friendly townships; a well-preserved gold heritage; award-winning wineries, recreational opportunities from fishing, curling, jetboating, scenic flights, mountain biking and the Otago Central Rail Trail, Clutha Gold Trail and Roxburgh Gorge Trail. There's also range of events for all tastes - arts, cultural, motorsport, cycling, running, food & wine.

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