15 days in South Island Itinerary

15 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island tour itinerary planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus
2
Te Anau
— 5 nights
Bus
3
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 4 nights
Bus
4
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive
5
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Drive to Picton, Ferry to Wellington

S M T W T F S
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

3
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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Skyline Queenstown and Boat Tours & Water Sports. There's still lots to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, push the limits with an extreme tour, identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and admire the natural beauty at Queenstown Gardens.

To find more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Queenstown day trip planner.

Wellington to Queenstown is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:

5
nights
Te Anau

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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Milford Sound and Trout Observatory. Step out of Te Anau to go to Milford Sound and see Boat Tours & Water Sports, which is approximately 1 hour away. On the 17th (Sun), hike the day away at Kepler Track. On the 16th (Sat), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Te Anau Glowworm Caves, look for all kinds of wild species at Ivan Wilson Park, head outdoors with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions, and look for gifts at Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs.

For reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Te Anau trip itinerary builder app.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a bus to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 12 — 17:

4
nights

Kids will appreciate attractions like Fox Glacier South Side Walk and Gillespies Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Sentinel Rock Walk (in Franz Josef) and Fox Glacier (Moraine Walk, Helicopter Tours, &more).

To find traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) road trip planning tool.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) in 7 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) to allow time to take a bus to Christchurch.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 17 — 21:

1
night
Christchurch

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, then take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and finally let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read our Christchurch trip website.

Take a bus from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Christchurch in 4.5 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Christchurch can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums · Parks · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 22:

1
night
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then look for gifts at Kaikoura Cheese.

Start your trip to Kaikoura by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Getting from Christchurch to Kaikoura by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 23:

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.