31 days in South Island Itinerary

31 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

31 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Alamosa
Fly + Drive:  31​h
1
Blenheim
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
2
Christchurch
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Franz Josef
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
4
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Te Anau
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
6
Invercargill
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
8
Dunedin
— 4 nights
Fly:  31​h
End: Alamosa

3
nights
Blenheim

Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
Appreciate the collections at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Cloudy Bay and Framingham Wines. When in Blenheim, make a side trip to see Nelson Provincial Museum in Nelson, approximately 1h 30 min away. Dedicate the 5th (Thu) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. The adventure continues: do a tasting at Nautilus Estate and see the interesting displays at Omaka Classic cars.

To see maps, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Blenheim visit planner .

Alamosa, USA to Blenheim is an approximately 31-hour flight. Traveling from Alamosa to Blenheim, you'll lose 19 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Alamosa in March, plan for a bit warmer days in Blenheim, with highs around 67°F, while nights are warmer with lows around 57°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Blenheim

Tours Wineries Museums

Side Trips

Renwick, Nelson
Find places to stay Mar 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Cloudy Bay ©
Cloudy Bay

4
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Canterbury Museum and International Antarctic Centre will appeal to museum buffs. Get some cultural insight at Quake City and Christchurch Cathedral. Explore Christchurch's surroundings by going to Akaroa (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Lava gallery). On the 8th (Sun), spend the day riding on TranzAlpine Train. There's lots more to do: admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, take a stroll around The Arts Centre, pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral, and explore the world behind art at Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu).

To find where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Christchurch trip app .

You can fly from Blenheim to Christchurch in 4 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Traveling from Blenheim in March, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Christchurch, with lows of 50°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can drive to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Museums Transportation

Side Trip

Akaroa
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre
Quake City ©
Quake City

2
nights
Franz Josef

Franz Josef ©
Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, then take in the exciting artwork at ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery, and then kick back and relax at Gillespies Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, then hike along Moraine Walk, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Fox Glacier.

To see ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Franz Josef day trip app .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Franz Josef takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Fox Glacier
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach
ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery ©
ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery
Spas

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and Church of the Good Shepherd are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Mt. Cook Village's surroundings by going to Monro Beach (in Lake Moeraki) and Lake Tekapo (Lake Tekapo & Earth & Sky).

Plan trip to Mt. Cook Village with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Traveling by car from Franz Josef to Mt. Cook Village takes 6 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo, Monro Beach
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Monro Beach ©
Monro Beach
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre ©
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
The Church of the Good Shepherd ©
The Church of the Good Shepherd

4
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Te Anau: Milford Sound (Bowen Falls & Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory). Spend the 19th (Thu) exploring nature at Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu). On the 20th (Fri), hike the day away at Kepler Track. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound.

For photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Invercargill.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Milford Sound
Find places to stay Mar 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

2
nights
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): get your game on at Dig This Invercargill, see the interesting displays at Bill Richardson Transport World, and then admire the masterpieces at Southland Museum and Art Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Classic Motorcycle Mecca, then get engrossed in the history at E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Oreti Beach.

For maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Invercargill online driving holiday planner .

Explore your travel options from Te Anau to Invercargill with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Invercargill

Museums Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Bill Richardson Transport World ©
Bill Richardson Transport World
Southland Museum and Art Gallery ©
Southland Museum and Art Gallery

5
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Peregrine Wines and Chard Farm Winery. On the 25th (Wed), enjoy an adventurous day among the treetops at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. On the 26th (Thu), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. The adventure continues: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, admire the natural beauty at Queenstown Garden, do a tasting at Stoneridge Estate & Bald Hills Cellar Door, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see traveler tips, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Queenstown travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Invercargill to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Hollyford Track
Find places to stay Mar 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Spas
Peregrine Wines ©
Peregrine Wines
Chard Farm Winery ©
Chard Farm Winery

4
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.
Let the collections at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and Port Chalmers' Seafaring Museum capture your imagination. Get a sense of the local culture at Larnach Castle & Gardens and Otago Museum. There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, see the interesting displays at Dunedin Gasworks Museum, tour in style with a train tour, and pause for some photo ops at Robert Scott Memorial.

To find photos, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Dunedin day trip planning tool .

Drive from Queenstown to Dunedin in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 31st (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Museums Parks

Side Trip

Port Chalmers' Seafaring Museum
Find places to stay Mar 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
The Royal Albatross Centre ©
The Royal Albatross Centre
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Larnach Castle & Gardens ©
Larnach Castle & Gardens

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