20 days in South Island Itinerary

20 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Dunedin
— 1 night
2
Palmerston
— 1 day
3
Oamaru
— 1 night
4
Cromwell
— Few hours
5
Queenstown
— 2 nights
6
Arrowtown
— 1 day
7
Te Anau
— 3 nights
8
Wanaka
— 3 nights
9
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
10
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 3 nights
11
Geraldine
— 1 night
12
Christchurch
— 1 night

1
night
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 30th (Sun): see the interesting displays at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and then contemplate the long history of Harrington Point.

For photos, reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Dunedin online visit planner.

Auckland to Dunedin is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry, car, and bus; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) to allow time to travel to Palmerston.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Harrington Point ©
Harrington Point

1
day
Palmerston

Palmerston ©
The town of Palmerston, in New Zealand's South Island, lies 50 kilometres to the north of the city of Dunedin. You've now added Shag Point Nature Reserve to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 31st (Mon): appreciate the extensive heritage of Waikouaiti Beach, steep yourself in history at Matanaka Farm Building, visit a coastal fixture at Katiki Point Lighthouse, thenlook for all kinds of wild species at Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Shag Point Nature Reserve.

For ratings, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Palmerston tour itinerary planning website.

Traveling by car from Dunedin to Palmerston takes an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can travel to Oamaru.

Things to do in Palmerston

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Moeraki, Waikouaiti
Find places to stay Aug 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Shag Point Nature Reserve ©
Shag Point Nature Reserve
Waikouaiti Beach ©
Waikouaiti Beach
Matanaka Farm Building ©
Matanaka Farm Building

1
night
Oamaru

Oamaru ©
Start off your visit on the 1st (Tue): take in nature's colorful creations at Oamaru Public Gardens, take an in-depth tour of Whitestone City, don't miss a visit to Oamaru's Victorian Precinct, thensample the fine beverages at The New Zealand Whisky Company, thenlook for gifts at Presence on Harbour, and finally make a trip to The Loft.

Before you visit Oamaru, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from Palmerston to Oamaru takes an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Cromwell.

Things to do in Oamaru

Parks Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Aug 31 — Sep 2:
Highlights from your plan
Oamaru Public Gardens ©
Oamaru Public Gardens
Oamaru's Victorian Precinct ©
Oamaru's Victorian Precinct
Whitestone City ©
Whitestone City

few
hours
Cromwell

Cromwell
Cromwell is a town in Central Otago in the Otago region of New Zealand.Cromwell is between State Highway 6 (linking to Wanaka, 50 km north, and Queenstown, 60 km west) and State Highway 8 leading to the Lindis Pass, 75 km northeast, and Alexandra, 33 km south. To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Cromwell online tour planner.

You can drive from Oamaru to Cromwell in 3 hours. On the 2nd (Wed), you're off to Queenstown.

Things to do in Cromwell

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 3:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): fly down the slopes at Coronet Peak. On your second day here, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, thenget your game on at Skyline Queenstown, thenrelax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and finally get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

For reviews, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Queenstown online road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Cromwell to Queenstown takes an hour. You will have some time to spend on the 4th (Fri) before leaving for Arrowtown.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
Spas
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown

1
day
Arrowtown

Arrowtown ©
Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): get outside with Arrowtown Village, thenappreciate the extensive heritage of Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, and then look for gifts at Honey & Cocoa.

To find photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Arrowtown trip maker website.

Arrowtown is very close to Queenstown. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to catch the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Arrowtown

Historic Sites Outdoors Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement ©
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Arrowtown Village ©
Arrowtown Village

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.
Go for a jaunt from Te Anau to Milford Sound to see Boat Tours & Water Sports about 1 hour away. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Milford Sound, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, and identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Te Anau road trip planning app.

Getting from Arrowtown to Te Anau by bus takes about 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Boat Tours & Water Sports, Mitre Peak
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Mitre Peak ©
Mitre Peak
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

3
nights
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.
Wanaka is known for nature, trails, and fun & games. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the activities along Lake Wanaka, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Iron Track, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and explore and take pictures at Snow Farm NZ.

For where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Wanaka trip itinerary builder app.

Take a bus from Te Anau to Wanaka in 6.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to catch the bus to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Snow Farm NZ ©
Snow Farm NZ
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track

3
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Fri): have fun at Franz Josef Clay Target Shooting, trek along Terrace Walk, take in the pleasant sights at Lake Matheson Walk, thentour the pleasant surroundings at Moraine Walk, thenstroll through Minnehaha Walk, and finally trek along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails. Here are some ideas for day two: admire all the interesting features of Franz Josef Glacier, tour the pleasant surroundings at Sentinel Rock Walk, thenrelax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, thenstroll through Fox Glacier South Side Walk, and finally see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Fox Glacier sightseeing planner.

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Fox Glacier in 5.5 hours. On the 13th (Sun), you'll travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Helicopter Tours

3
nights
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Lake Tekapo has been added to your itinerary. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu): New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm (in Pukaki) and New Zealand Alpine Lavender (in Twizel).

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Fox Glacier to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Geraldine.

Things to do in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, New Zealand Alpine Lavender, Lake Tekapo
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Ski The Tasman ©
Ski The Tasman
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook

1
night
Geraldine

Geraldine
Geraldine or Heratini is a town in the Canterbury Region on the South Island of New Zealand. For maps, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Geraldine trip itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Geraldine. On the 17th (Thu), you'll travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Geraldine

Tours Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 17:

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 17th (Thu), stroll around Hagley Park, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, thenappreciate the history behind Diminish and Ascend, and finally examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre. Here are some ideas for day two: pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral, let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, thensee the interesting displays at Quake City, and finally stop by HAPA.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Christchurch online vacation maker.

Traveling by car from Geraldine to Christchurch takes 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around °C in September, and nighttime lows around °C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre

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