60 days in South Island Itinerary

60 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

60 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  5​h 45​min
1
Queenstown
— 7 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
2
Te Anau
— 8 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
3
Invercargill
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Dunedin
— 6 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Mt. Cook Village
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Wanaka
— 7 nights
bus:  4​h
7
Fox Glacier
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Hokitika
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
9
Hanmer Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
10
Kaikoura
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h
11
Christchurch
— 7 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Sydney

7
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.
Get some historical perspective at Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Vesta Design Boutique. Take a break from the city and head to Fishing Charters & Tours and Lake Hayes Walkway. Change things up with these side-trips from Queenstown: Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door (in Bannockburn) and Wooing Tree Vineyard (in Cromwell). There's still lots to do: explore the landscape on two wheels at Queenstown Trail, do a tasting at Chard Farm Winery, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown day trip planning app .

Sydney, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6-hour flight. Traveling from Sydney to Queenstown, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Cromwell
Find places to stay Oct 1 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement ©
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway
Fishing Charters & Tours

8
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.
Get in touch with nature at Milford Sound and Mirror Lakes Walk. You'll discover tucked-away gems like The Chasm Walk and Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. Venture out of the city with trips to Milford Sound (Bowen Falls, Homer Tunnel, & more). On the 14th (Mon), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. There's much more to do: explore the activities along Doubtful Sound, trek along Lake Gunn, stroll through Routeburn Track, and get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

For more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read Te Anau online vacation planner .

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to travel to Invercargill.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, Routeburn Track
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

4
nights
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Bill Richardson Transport World and McLean Falls. Escape the urban bustle at Bluff Hill and McLean Falls Walk. Change things up with these side-trips from Invercargill: Purakaunui Falls Walk (in Papatowai), Waikawa Museum and Information Centre (in Tokanui) and Te Hikoi Museum and Information Centre (in Riverton). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Classic Motorcycle Mecca, explore the world behind art at Southland Museum and Art Gallery, enjoy the sea views from Waipapa Point Lighthouse, and cruise along Southern Scenic Route.

For maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Invercargill trip planner .

Explore your travel options from Te Anau to Invercargill with the Route module. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Invercargill

Outdoors Museums Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Papatowai, Bluff Hill, McLean Falls Walk, Te Hikoi Museum and Information Centre, Waikawa Museum and Information Centre
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Bill Richardson Transport World ©
Bill Richardson Transport World
McLean Falls ©
McLean Falls
Classic Motorcycle Mecca ©
Classic Motorcycle Mecca

6
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 get in some beach time at Aramoana Beach and Dunedin Beach. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Nugget Point Lighthouse and Whitestone City. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Dunedin: Nugget Point/Tokata Walks (in Balclutha), Owaka Museum and Catlins Information Centre (in Owaka) and Kaka Point Beach (in Kaka Point). There's lots more to do: identify plant and animal life at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, take a memorable tour with Tours, take in nature's colorful creations at Oamaru Public Gardens, and enjoy the sea views from Katiki Point Lighthouse.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Dunedin trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Invercargill to Dunedin takes 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Oamaru, Nugget Point/Tokata Walks, Owaka Museum and Catlins Information Centre, Nugget Point Lighthouse, Matanaka Farm Building
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Nugget Point Lighthouse ©
Nugget Point Lighthouse
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Katiki Point Lighthouse ©
Katiki Point Lighthouse

5
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and The Church of the Good Shepherd. Escape the urban bustle at Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Mount John Summit Circuit Track. Explore Mt. Cook Village's surroundings by going to Lake Tekapo (Helicopter Tours & Lake Tekapo) and Fairlie (Burkes Pass Gallery & Gem Alpaca Stud). There's still lots to do: trek along Sealy Tarns Track, contemplate the waterfront views at Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, and stroll through Hooker Valley Track.

To find reviews, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Mt. Cook Village itinerary planning website .

Drive from Dunedin to Mt. Cook Village in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) to allow time to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo, Fairlie
Find places to stay Oct 26 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track
Gem Alpaca Stud ©
Gem Alpaca Stud

7
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Snow Farm and River Rafting & Tubing. National Transport and Toy Museum and The World of Deer Museum & Speciality Shop will appeal to museum buffs. There's lots more to do: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, see what you can catch with a fishing tour, explore the activities along Lake Wanaka, and trot along with a tour on horseback.

To see maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read Wanaka online day trip planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to catcht the bus to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 7:
Highlights from your plan
Snow Farm NZ ©
Snow Farm NZ
Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain walks ©
Speed Boats Tours

5
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Get a sense of the local culture at ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery and River Walk. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Ship Creek Walks and Gillespies Beach. Go for a jaunt from Fox Glacier to Franz Josef to see Roberts Point Track about 32 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: go for a walk through Tatare Tunnels Walk, trek along Moraine Walk, take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, and stroll through Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk.

Plan my Fox Glacier trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Take a bus from Wanaka to Fox Glacier in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Hokitika.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Ship Creek Walks
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Ship Creek Walks ©
Ship Creek Walks
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Tatare Tunnels Walk ©
Tatare Tunnels Walk

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. Let the collections at Wilderness Gallery and Hokitika Museum capture your imagination. Escape the urban bustle at Hokitika Beach and Glow Worm Dell. Explore Hokitika's surroundings by going to Punakaiki (Truman Track & Pororari River Track) and Devils Punchbowl Walking Track (in Arthur's Pass National Park). It doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at Lake Kaniere.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Hokitika route app .

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Hokitika in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Punakaiki, Devils Punchbowl Walking Track
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach
Truman Track ©
Truman Track
Pororari River Track ©
Pororari River Track

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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Waiau River Estate and Majuba Gallery. Step off the beaten path and head to Conical Hill and Spas. There's lots more to do: take a peaceful walk through Hanmer Forest, identify plant and animal life at Hanmer Springs Animal Park, stop by The Decadent Fudge Company, and relax in the rural setting at Wai ariki Farm Park, Cafe & Gallery.

For reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Hanmer Springs trip itinerary builder app .

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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Hanmer Forest ©
Hanmer Forest
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre ©
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre
Spas

4
nights
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Kaikoura Museum and Art & Design Gallery. Get outdoors at Peninsula Seal Colony and Dolphin & Whale Watching. The adventure continues: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, stop by Kaikoura Cheese, contemplate the long history of Fyffe House, and see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To plan Kaikoura vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Getting from Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Nov 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours

7
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Get some cultural insight at Port Hills and Riccarton House & Bush. Explore hidden gems such as Mt Hutt Ski Area and Horseback Riding Tours. Get out of town with these interesting Christchurch side-trips: Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum (in Geraldine) and Akaroa (Saint Peter's Anglican Church, Akaroa Museum, & more). And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape at Sumner Beach (Cave Rock), pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral, let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, and have some family-friendly fun at Velocity Karts.

To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip planning site .

You can take a bus from Kaikoura to Christchurch in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In November, daytime highs in Christchurch are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Akaroa, Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum, Mt Hutt Ski Area
Find places to stay Nov 22 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Mt Hutt Ski Area ©
Mt Hutt Ski Area
Port Hills ©
Port Hills

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