22 days in South Island Itinerary

22 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island planner

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Route & dates

22 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + bus:  8​h 30​min
1
Wanaka
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Dunedin
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Queenstown
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
5
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
6
Invercargill
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
7
Hokitika
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
8
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Sydney

3
nights
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Blue Pools Track and Parasailing & Paragliding. Take a break from the city and head to Horseback Riding Tours and Speed Boats Tours. There's much more to do: cast your line with a fishing tour, take a memorable tour with Tours, take in the dramatic scenery at Thunder Creek Falls, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

To see more things to do, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, use the Wanaka trip itinerary planner .

Sydney, Australia to Wanaka is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also fly. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) to New Zealand Standard Time is 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Wanaka

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Speed Boats Tours
Parasailing & Paragliding
Fishing Charters & Tours

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 12th (Thu): trek along Glencoe Walk, explore the activities along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, then head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and finally explore the activities along Lake Pukaki.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Mt. Cook Village road trip planning tool .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Wanaka to Mt. Cook Village. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Mar 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks ©
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki

3
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Tunnel Beach Track and Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Katiki Point Lighthouse and St. Paul's Cathedral. Explore Dunedin's surroundings by going to Matanaka Farm Building (in Waikouaiti) and Oamaru's Victorian Precinct (in Oamaru). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Aramoana Beach, take in nature's colorful creations at Dunedin Chinese Garden, go on a hair-raising tour with a ghost and vampire tour, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at First Church of Otago.

To see where to stay, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read Dunedin attractions planner .

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Dunedin in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Oamaru's Victorian Precinct, Katiki Point Lighthouse, Matanaka Farm Building
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track
Katiki Point Lighthouse ©
Katiki Point Lighthouse
Aramoana Beach ©
Aramoana Beach

4
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Get outdoors at Ben Lomond Track and Lake Hayes Walkway. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Hayes Engineering Works & Homestead (inc Cafe). Next up on the itinerary: take a memorable tour with Tours, do a tasting at Chard Farm Winery, explore the activities along Arrow River, and see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

To see photos, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip maker app .

You can drive from Dunedin to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can catcht the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Hayes Engineering Works & Homestead (inc Cafe)
Find places to stay Mar 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Routeburn Track and Hollyford Track. You'll discover tucked-away gems like The Chasm Walk and Kepler Track. There's more to do: identify plant and animal life at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

To find ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau online journey planner .

Getting from Queenstown to Te Anau by bus takes about 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can take a bus to Invercargill.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Hollyford Track, Routeburn Track
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track

2
nights
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. On the 23rd (Mon), take an in-depth tour of E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian, let little ones run wild at Dig This Invercargill, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Oreti Beach. On the 24th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: walk around Queens Park, appreciate the history behind Burt Munro Statue, then see the interesting displays at Bill Richardson Transport World, and finally get outside with Bluff Hill.

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Invercargill online trip builder .

Take a bus from Te Anau to Invercargill in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to Hokitika.

Things to do in Invercargill

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Bluff Hill
Find places to stay Mar 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Queens Park ©
Queens Park
Bluff Hill ©
Bluff Hill
Bill Richardson Transport World ©
Bill Richardson Transport World

2
nights
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. Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): head outdoors with Glow Worm Dell, enjoy the sand and surf at Hokitika Beach, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Lake Kaniere. On the 26th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the galleries of Wilderness Gallery, take an in-depth tour of Hokitika Museum, then take in the views from Taramakau Road-Rail Bridge, then stroll through West Coast Wilderness Trail, and finally admire the sheer force of Dorothy Falls.

To see reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Hokitika trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by flight from Invercargill to Hokitika takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Glow Worm Dell ©
Glow Worm Dell
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach
Lake Kaniere ©
Lake Kaniere

3
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Port Hills and Riccarton House & Bush will appeal to history buffs. Get in touch with nature at River Rafting & Tubing and Sumner Beach (Cave Rock). Step out of Christchurch with an excursion to Kayaking & Canoeing in Akaroa--about 1h 30 min away. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Avon River, see the interesting displays at Air Force Museum of New Zealand, have some family-friendly fun at Velocity Karts, and make a trip to Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

To find reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip itinerary builder website .

Fly from Hokitika to Christchurch in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In March, daytime highs in Christchurch are 23°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Mar 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock) ©
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock)

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