11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Christchurch
car:  3​h
1
Nelson
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Abel Tasman National Park
— 1 night
drive:  5​h 30​min
3
Punakaiki
— 1 night
Drive:  45​min
4
Greymouth
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
Okarito
— 1 night
Drive:  45​min
6
Franz Josef
— 1 night
drive:  5​h 30​min
7
Wanaka
— 1 night
drive:  6​h 30​min
8
Te Anau
— 1 night
drive:  3​h 30​min
9
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
10
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h
11
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
End: Christchurch

1
day
Nelson

Nelson ©
Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): see the interesting displays at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum, then have some family-friendly fun at Pro Karts, then take an in-depth tour of Nelson Provincial Museum, and finally stop by Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Nelson trip planner.

Christchurch to Nelson is an approximately 3-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to travel to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Nelson

Museums Fun & Games Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith ©
Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith
Nelson Provincial Museum ©
Nelson Provincial Museum

1
night
Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park ©
Pristine blue water, immaculate white sand, and a thick, temperate rainforest make Abel Tasman National Park a natural jewel on the northern coast of Tasmania's South Island.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): trek along Abel Tasman Coast Track.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Abel Tasman National Park online trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to catcht the bus to Punakaiki.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Abel Tasman Coast Track ©
Abel Tasman Coast Track

1
night
Punakaiki

Punakaiki ©
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): trek along Truman Track, then hike along Pororari River Track, and then explore the striking landscape at Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk.

To find traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Punakaiki trip itinerary planning tool .

You can take a bus from Abel Tasman National Park to Punakaiki in 5.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Greymouth.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk ©
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk
Truman Track ©
Truman Track
Pororari River Track ©
Pororari River Track

1
night
Greymouth

Greymouth ©
Greymouth is the largest town in the West Coast region in the South Island of New Zealand, and the seat of the Grey District Council. On the 12th (Sun), indulge your thirst for a good beer at Monteith's Brewing Company.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Greymouth travel planner .

You can drive from Punakaiki to Greymouth in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Okarito.

Things to do in Greymouth

Breweries & Distilleries
Find places to stay Jul 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Monteith's Brewing Company ©
Monteith's Brewing Company

1
night
Okarito

Okarito ©
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): explore the activities along Okarito Lagoon, take in the exciting artwork at Petr Hlavacek Gallery, and then stroll through Gillespies Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trek along Okarito Trig Walk and Three Mile Lagoon and then trek along Harihari Coastal Walkway.

To find traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Okarito trip website .

Getting from Greymouth to Okarito by car takes about 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Okarito

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Petr Hlavacek Gallery, Gillespies Beach, Harihari Coastal Walkway
Find places to stay Jul 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach
Okarito Lagoon ©
Okarito Lagoon
Harihari Coastal Walkway ©
Harihari Coastal Walkway

1
night
Franz Josef

Franz Josef
Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Franz Josef day trip planner.

You can drive from Okarito to Franz Josef in an hour. On the 15th (Wed), you'll travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Jul 14 — 15:

1
night
Wanaka

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 7th (Tue), explore the activities along Lake Wanaka and then get your game on at Puzzling World.

To find reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Wanaka road trip website .

Getting from Franz Josef to Wanaka by bus takes about 5.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can catcht the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Nature Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jul 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Puzzling World ©
Puzzling World

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): contemplate the waterfront views at Doubtful Sound.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau online vacation planner .

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Te Anau takes 6.5 hours. You will leave for Queenstown on the 17th (Fri).

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Jul 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

2
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
On the 17th (Fri), look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park and then get your game on at Fear Factory Queenstown.

For more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Queenstown route builder .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks Winter Sports Nature
Find places to stay Jul 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
Spas
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park

1
day
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sun): look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and then head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

For photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Mt. Cook Village trip itinerary builder website .

Drive from Queenstown to Mt. Cook Village in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Museums Childrens Museums Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre ©
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook

1
night
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sun): make a trip to Memorial to James Mackenzie.

For ratings and more tourist information, read Lake Tekapo road trip planning app .

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Lake Tekapo in an hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can go by car back home.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Fairlie
Find places to stay Jul 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
The Church of the Good Shepherd ©
The Church of the Good Shepherd
Mount John University Observatory ©
Mount John University Observatory

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