10 days in South Island Itinerary

10 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island vacation planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Fly
2
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Twizel
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Christchurch
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

2
nights
Christchurch

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 30th (Wed), get into the urban bustle at The Arts Centre and then walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens. On the 31st (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train.

To see where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Christchurch trip itinerary planner.

Auckland to Christchurch is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. When traveling from Auckland in December, plan for somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in Christchurch: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 12°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 1st (Fri) before leaving for Dunedin.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation · Tours · Parks · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:

2
nights
Dunedin

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 discover tucked-away gems like Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Signal Hill. Change things up with a short trip to Shag Point Nature Reserve in Palmerston (about 48 minutes away). There's still lots to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Paul's Cathedral, tour the old-fashioned way with a train tour, examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and take in the exciting artwork at Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

To see where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Dunedin travel route planner.

Fly from Christchurch to Dunedin in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:

2
nights
Queenstown

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 other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Queenstown trip planning website.

You can drive from Dunedin to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. You'll have a few hours on the 5th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Twizel.

Things to do in Queenstown

Spas · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:

2
nights
Twizel

Start off your visit on the 5th (Tue): explore the activities along Lake Ruataniwha, relax in the rural setting at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, then get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki. Here are some ideas for day two: experience rural life at SkyScape.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Twizel trip planner.

You can drive from Queenstown to Twizel in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Twizel

Parks · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:

1
night
Christchurch

Garden City

Start off your visit on the 7th (Thu): steep yourself in history at Riccarton House & Bush, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, then explore and take pictures at Godley Head, and finally wander the streets of Port Hills.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip website.

Traveling by car from Twizel to Christchurch takes 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:

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.