17 days in South Island Itinerary

17 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip builder

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

17 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Christchurch
1
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
2
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Wanaka
— 1 night
Bus:  3​h
5
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus:  3​h
6
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
7
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Hokitika
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
9
Akaroa
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
10
Christchurch
— 1 night
End: Christchurch

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 22nd (Sun), pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral and then examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre.

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, use the Christchurch online day trip planner .

If you are flying in from Brazil, the closest major airport is Christchurch International Airport. In December in Christchurch, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 12°C at night. You'll set off for Lake Tekapo on the 23rd (Mon).

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre
Cardboard Cathedral ©
Cardboard Cathedral

2
nights
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo ©
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
You've added Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, Tekapo Star Gazing, Mount John University Observatory, and other attractions to your itinerary. On the 23rd (Mon), pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd, then view the masterpieces at Burkes Pass Gallery, and then join in the after-dark buzz at Tekapo Star Gazing.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Lake Tekapo visit planning website .

You can drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Nightlife Tours

Side Trips

Lake Pukaki, Burkes Pass Gallery
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki
The Church of the Good Shepherd ©
The Church of the Good Shepherd
Mount John University Observatory ©
Mount John University Observatory

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
On the 25th (Wed), look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and then trek along Hooker Valley Track.

Plan my day in Mt. Cook Village using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village in an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Trails Parks

Side Trip

Hooker Valley Track
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre ©
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Paradiso Cinema, Puzzling World and That Wanaka Tree. Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): make a trip to That Wanaka Tree, then get your game on at Puzzling World, and then watch a film at Paradiso Cinema. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Fri): hike along Roys Peak Track.

To find maps, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Wanaka trip itinerary maker .

Explore your travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Trails Parks
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
That Wanaka Tree ©
That Wanaka Tree
Puzzling World ©
Puzzling World

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Milford Sound, Kayaking & Canoeing and The Chasm Walk. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Mirror Lakes Walk and Milford sound Hwy. Visiting Te Anau Bird Sanctuary and Te Anau Glowworm Caves will get you outdoors.

To see reviews, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Te Anau tour builder site .

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Te Anau in 6.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Mon) to allow time for the bus ride to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Mirror Lakes Walk, Milford sound Hwy
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Mirror Lakes Walk ©
Mirror Lakes Walk
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Milford sound Hwy ©
Milford sound Hwy

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Speed Boats Tours, Skyline Queenstown and AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand. On the 31st (Tue), race across the water with a speed boat tour and then get interesting insight from AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park and then get your game on at Skyline Queenstown.

For ratings, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip itinerary maker app .

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can go by car to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park
AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand ©
AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand

2
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Franz Josef Glacier as well as Lake Matheson Walk. On the 2nd (Thu), explore the striking landscape of Fox Glacier. On the 3rd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, explore the activities along Lake Matheson Walk, and then kick back and relax at Monro Beach.

To see ratings, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the Fox Glacier trip planner.

You can drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Hokitika.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Monro Beach, Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Monro Beach ©
Monro Beach
Helicopter Tours

1
night
Hokitika

Hokitika ©
Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island, 40km south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Hokitika Beach. Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Hokitika Gorge Walk and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Hokitika Beach.

To find more things to do, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Hokitika travel planner .

Drive from Fox Glacier to Hokitika in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride to Akaroa.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Arthur's Pass National Park
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach
Hokitika Gorge Walk ©
Hokitika Gorge Walk

1
night
Akaroa

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
For maps, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Akaroa trip planner .

Traveling by car from Hokitika to Akaroa takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Akaroa can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Christchurch.

Things to do in Akaroa

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Swim with Dolphins
The Giants House ©
The Giants House

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch
For where to stay, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Christchurch trip planning website .

You can drive from Akaroa to Christchurch in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 7th (Tue), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:

Similar Plans

21 days in South Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM CHINA February, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: February, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 50 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM INDIA November, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM FINLAND January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in South Island BY A USER FROM IRELAND November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
View more plans