12 days in Auckland & South Island Itinerary

12 days in Auckland & South Island Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Auckland & South Island Itinerary

Start: Bangkok
Fly:  11​h 30​min
1
Auckland
— Few hours
Fly:  3​h
2
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Moeraki
— Few hours
Drive:  30​min
4
Oamaru
— 1 day
Drive:  30​min
5
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
6
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
7
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
8
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
9
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: Bangkok

few
hours
Auckland

Auckland
The largest and most populous city in New Zealand, Auckland combines a rich history and thriving contemporary culture in an abundance of museums, art galleries, and performance venues.
To find more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Auckland road trip planner .

Bangkok, Thailand to Auckland is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Indochina Time to New Zealand Standard Time is 5 hours. Traveling from Bangkok in December, expect nights in Auckland to be little chillier, around 20°C, while days are colder, around 20°C. On the 17th (Tue), you're off toDunedin.

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 18:

2
nights
Dunedin

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Penguin Place as well as Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Dunedin day trip planning app .

You can fly from Auckland to Dunedin in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry, car, and bus. On the 19th (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Moeraki.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours ©
Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours
The World's Steepest Street ©
The World's Steepest Street
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place

few
hours
Moeraki

Moeraki ©
Moeraki is a small fishing village on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Moeraki Boulders Beach.

To see more things to do, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Moeraki trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Dunedin to Moeraki in 1.5 hours. You will have some time to spend on the 19th (Thu) before leaving for Oamaru.
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Moeraki Boulders Beach ©
Moeraki Boulders Beach

1
day
Oamaru

Oamaru ©
On the 19th (Thu), see the interesting displays at Steampunk HQ.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Oamaru trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Moeraki to Oamaru in an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Christchurch.

Things to do in Oamaru

Museums
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Steampunk HQ ©
Steampunk HQ

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch online travel planner .

Traveling by car from Oamaru to Christchurch takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:

2
nights
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo ©
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Dark Sky Project has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): grab your flashlight and head to Dark Sky Project. Here are some ideas for day two: pause for some photo ops at Mackenzie Sheep Dog Statue and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Lake Tekapo trip itinerary maker site .

Getting from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. On the 22nd (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Historic Sites Nightlife Tours

Side Trip

Memorial to James Mackenzie
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
The Church of the Good Shepherd ©
The Church of the Good Shepherd
Mount John University Observatory ©
Mount John University Observatory
Dark Sky Project ©
Dark Sky Project

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Mt. Cook Village trip planner .

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village in an hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Trails Parks

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre ©
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Speed Boats Tours. Here are some ideas for day two: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, then make a splash at Alpine Aqualand, and then get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Queenstown trip itinerary maker website .

You can fly from Auckland to Queenstown in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry, car, and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Alpine Aqualand ©
Alpine Aqualand
Zipline

2
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): learn about all things military at Auckland War Memorial Museum, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Auckland Zoo, and then kick back and relax at Cheltenham Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: learn about winemaking at Foxes Island, then explore the activities along Devonport, and then enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium.

To find reviews and more tourist information, read Auckland trip itinerary maker tool .

You can fly from Queenstown to Auckland in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Museums

Side Trip

Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Auckland Zoo ©
Auckland Zoo
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium ©
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

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