9 days in South Island Itinerary

9 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Ashburton
— 1 night
Drive
3
Geraldine
— 1 night
Drive
4
Lake Tekapo
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
23
24
25

Christchurch

— 2 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Barrys Bay Cheese as well as Waipara Private Wine Tour. On the 12th (Sun), look for gifts at Barrys Bay Cheese and then indulge your senses at Waipara Private Wine Tour.

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

Wellington to Christchurch is an approximately 2.5-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. On the 14th (Tue), you'll travel to Ashburton.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours · Wineries · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 12 — 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. Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): don't miss a visit to Smithfield Berries, observe the fascinating underwater world at Salmon World, and then appreciate the history behind Rakaia Salmon Statue.

To find reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Ashburton trip maker.

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Ashburton takes 1.5 hours. In September in Ashburton, expect temperatures between 16°C during the day and 5°C at night. On the 15th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Geraldine.

Things to do in Ashburton

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 14 — 15:

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 15th (Wed): stop by The Tin Shed, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve, then examine the collection at The Giant Jersey, and finally look and learn at Geraldine Observatory.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Geraldine itinerary planning app.

Drive from Ashburton to Geraldine in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Geraldine

Museums · Childrens Museums · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 16:

Lake Tekapo

Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Lake Tekapo, Hooker Valley Track and Tekapo Springs. Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): explore the activities along Lake Tekapo, then hike along Hooker Valley Track, and then test the waters at Tekapo Springs.

To see ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Lake Tekapo trip planner.

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

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

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): make a trip to Alexandra Mountain Clock and then learn about winemaking at Judge Rock Winery.

For more things to do and other tourist information, you can read our Alexandra tour itinerary site.

Getting from Lake Tekapo to Alexandra by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Alexandra

Wineries
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 17:
Highlights from your trip

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 · Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 20:

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.