10 days in South Island Itinerary

10 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island journey planner

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Route & dates

10 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly + bus:  9​h 15​min
1
Wanaka
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
2
Queenstown
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
3
Te Anau
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
4
Invercargill
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Dunedin
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
6
Christchurch
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Brisbane

2
nights
Wanaka

Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
On the 21st (Sat), trek along Blue Pools Track, then examine the collection at The World of Deer Museum & Speciality Shop, then see the interesting displays at National Transport and Toy Museum, and finally see what you can catch with a fishing tour. On the 22nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: push the limits with an extreme tour, then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain walks.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Wanaka trip maker tool .

Brisbane, Australia to Wanaka is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) to New Zealand Standard Time is 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Tours Museums
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Parasailing & Paragliding
Speed Boats Tours

2
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then get your game on at Fear Factory Queenstown, then explore the activities along Moke Lake, and finally don't miss a visit to Fallen Soldiers Memorial. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Tue): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, view the masterpieces at Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery, contemplate the waterfront views at Arrow River, then view the masterpieces at Silver Fern Gallery, and finally have some family-friendly fun at Dark Ride.

For reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown day trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Fishing Charters & Tours
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park

2
nights
Te Anau

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.
On the 25th (Wed), tour the pleasant surroundings at Mirror Lakes Walk, then explore the activities along Lake Gunn, then tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk, and finally identify plant and animal life at Milford sound Hwy. On the 26th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Te Anau, then contemplate the waterfront views at Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and then identify plant and animal life at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

To find where to stay, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau planning app .

Getting from Queenstown to Te Anau by bus takes about 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a bus to Invercargill.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford sound Hwy
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Mirror Lakes Walk ©
Mirror Lakes Walk
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Milford sound Hwy ©
Milford sound Hwy

1
night
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): see the interesting displays at Bill Richardson Transport World, then explore the ancient world of Invercargill Brewery, then get engrossed in the history at E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian, and finally explore the world behind art at Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

For other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Invercargill day trip planning site .

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Invercargill in 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Dunedin.

Things to do in Invercargill

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Bill Richardson Transport World ©
Bill Richardson Transport World
Southland Museum and Art Gallery ©
Southland Museum and Art Gallery

1
night
Dunedin

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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): get interesting insight from Tours, identify plant and animal life at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, then pause for some serene contemplation at First Church of Otago, and finally trek along Tunnel Beach Track.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read Dunedin visit planning site .

You can drive from Invercargill to Dunedin in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Christchurch.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
First Church of Otago ©
First Church of Otago

1
night
Christchurch

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 29th (Sun): take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, see the interesting displays at Air Force Museum of New Zealand, and then steep yourself in history at Riccarton House & Bush.

To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Christchurch trip maker site .

You can drive from Dunedin to Christchurch in 4.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Christchurch are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Riccarton House & Bush ©
Riccarton House & Bush
Air Force Museum of New Zealand ©
Air Force Museum of New Zealand

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