35 days in South Island Itinerary

35 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

35 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Perth
Fly + bus:  14​h 15​min
1
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
2
Invercargill
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
3
Dunedin
— 4 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
4
Franz Josef
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Hokitika
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Hanmer Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h
8
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
9
Wanaka
— 4 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
10
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Fly:  10​h 45​min
End: Perth

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Kepler Track and Routeburn Track. Get outdoors at The Chasm Walk and Lake Gunn. Spend the 14th (Sun) exploring nature at Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Milford Sound.

For photos, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read Te Anau travel route planner .

Perth, Australia to Te Anau is an approximately 14.5-hour combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) so you can travel to Invercargill.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Routeburn Track, Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Jun 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track
Routeburn Track ©
Routeburn Track

4
nights
Invercargill

Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Explore hidden gems such as Bill Richardson Transport World and Southland Museum and Art Gallery. Visiting Shark Diving and Clifden Caves will get you outdoors. When in Invercargill, make a side trip to see Fishing Charters & Tours in Gore, approximately 1h 10 min away. Spend the 19th (Fri) exploring the striking scenery along Southern Scenic Route. There's more to do: walk around Queens Park and examine the collection at Classic Motorcycle Mecca.

Make your Invercargill itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Explore your travel options from Te Anau to Invercargill with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Invercargill

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Shark Diving, Clifden Caves, Fishing Charters & Tours
Find places to stay Jun 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Bill Richardson Transport World ©
Bill Richardson Transport World
Classic Motorcycle Mecca ©
Classic Motorcycle Mecca

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Shag Point Nature Reserve. Get in touch with nature at Aramoana Beach and Nature & Wildlife Tours. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Dunedin: Waikouaiti (Waikouaiti Beach & Matanaka Farm Building). Next up on the itinerary: cast your line with a fishing tour, examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, explore the galleries of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and get great views at Signal Hill.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, read Dunedin journey site .

You can drive from Invercargill to Dunedin in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Waikouaiti, Shag Point Nature Reserve
Find places to stay Jun 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Aramoana Beach ©
Aramoana Beach

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Tatare Tunnels Walk and Okarito Lagoon. Take a break from the city and head to Franz Josef Glacier and Moraine Walk. When in Franz Josef, make a side trip to see Mount Fox Route in Fox Glacier, approximately 34 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: take in the awesome beauty at Fox Glacier, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, stroll through Roberts Point Track, and trek along Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk.

To see ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Franz Josef attractions planning tool .

You can drive from Dunedin to Franz Josef in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) so you can drive to Hokitika.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fox Glacier, Okarito Lagoon
Find places to stay Jun 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Tatare Tunnels Walk ©
Tatare Tunnels Walk
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier

3
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. Step out of the city life by going to Hokitika Beach and West Coast Wilderness Trail. Discover out-of-the-way places like Glow Worm Dell and Tunnel Terrace Walk. Venture out of the city with trips to Coal Creek Track (in Runanga) and Left Bank Art Gallery (in Greymouth). There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Lake Kaniere, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Mary's Catholic Church, take in the dramatic scenery at Dorothy Falls, and view the masterpieces at Wilderness Gallery.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Hokitika trip itinerary planning website .

You can drive from Franz Josef to Hokitika in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Left Bank Art Gallery, Coal Creek Track
Find places to stay Jun 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Wilderness Gallery ©
Wilderness Gallery
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach
Lake Kaniere ©
Lake Kaniere

3
nights
Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs ©
Action and relaxation are the reasons that most people head to Hanmer Springs, where natural thermal pools bubble among dramatic alpine surroundings.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Conical Hill and Spas. Step out of the city life by going to Hanmer Forest and Hanmer Springs Animal Park. Spend a day outdoors on the 3rd (Fri) with Hanmer Llamas. It doesn't end there: get outside with Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre and steep yourself in history at Queen Mary Hospital.

For reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Hanmer Springs trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Hokitika to Hanmer Springs in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jun 30 — Jul 3:
Highlights from your plan
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre ©
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre
Hanmer Forest ©
Hanmer Forest
Spas

2
nights
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): take a memorable tour with Tours, then identify plant and animal life at Peninsula Seal Colony, and then take in the exciting artwork at Art & Design Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, Head underground at Maori Leap Cave, then hike along Ohau Stream Walk, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally enjoy some diversion at The Emporium.

To find photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read Kaikoura driving holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Jul 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, stroll through Hooker Valley Track, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Glencoe Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the activities along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, trek along Sealy Tarns Track, and then hike along Kea Point Track.

To see reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Mt. Cook Village route site .

You can drive from Kaikoura to Mt. Cook Village in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Trails Parks

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Jul 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track

4
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at National Transport and Toy Museum and Rippon Vineyard. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Snow Farm and River Rafting & Tubing. Spend the 9th (Thu) on the water with a fishing tour. Next up on the itinerary: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, appreciate the history behind Wanaka War Memorial, and hike along Blue Pools Track.

To find reviews and tourist information, refer to the Wanaka trip itinerary planner.

Explore your travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jul 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Snow Farm NZ ©
Snow Farm NZ
Fishing Charters & Tours
Parasailing & Paragliding

5
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Fishing Charters & Tours and Chard Farm Winery. Get outdoors at Coronet Peak and Zipline. On the 14th (Tue), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at The Remarkables Ski Area. The adventure continues: push the limits with an extreme tour and look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

To find other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Queenstown planner .

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
Fishing Charters & Tours
Zipline

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