15 days in South Island Itinerary

15 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island itinerary planner

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Route & dates

15 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  6​h 45​min
1
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Bus:  5​h 15​min
4
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus:  3​h 15​min
5
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
End: Brisbane

3
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Change things up with a short trip to Dolphin & Whale Watching in Akaroa (about 1h 25 min away). Next up on the itinerary: take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, have fun at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train, and pause for some photo ops at Chalice Sculpture.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip maker tool .

Brisbane, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 7-hour flight. 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. Traveling from Brisbane in March, expect Christchurch to be a bit cooler, temps between 23°C and 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Transportation Museums

Side Trip

Dolphin & Whale Watching
Find places to stay Mar 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Change things up with these side-trips from Mt. Cook Village: Lake Tekapo (in Lake Tekapo), Fox Glacier (Helicopter Tours, Moraine Walk, & more) and Franz Josef Glacier (in Franz Josef). Next up on the itinerary: hike along Hooker Valley Track, get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and stroll through Kea Point Track.

Plan a trip to Mt. Cook Village easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can drive from Christchurch to Mt. Cook Village in 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Fox Glacier, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo, Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, take in the exciting artwork at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, then contemplate the long history of Olveston Historic Home, then get curious at Otago Museum, and finally make a trip to The World's Steepest Street. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Tue): hike along Tunnel Beach Track, identify plant and animal life at The Royal Albatross Centre, then get great views at Flagstaff lookout and Hotere Garden, and finally step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens.

To find maps, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, go to the Dunedin online visit planner .

Traveling by car from Mt. Cook Village to Dunedin takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Mar 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Larnach Castle & Gardens ©
Larnach Castle & Gardens
The Royal Albatross Centre ©
The Royal Albatross Centre

3
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.
Te Anau is known for nature, trails, nightlife, wildlife, and adventure. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, trek along The Chasm Walk, and stop by Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs.

To see traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Te Anau trip itinerary planning app .

You can take a bus from Dunedin to Te Anau in 5.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track

3
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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, wildlife, nature, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Garden, explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip site .

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Mar 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

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