8 days in South Island Itinerary

8 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip planner

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Route & dates

8 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg
Fly:  21​h 45​min
1
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Hanmer Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Nelson
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 45​min
4
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Fly:  23​h 15​min
End: Johannesburg

2
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Mon): hop aboard TranzAlpine Train and then admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Here are some ideas for day two: take a memorable ride with Christchurch Gondola, take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, then see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral.

Start your trip to Christchurch by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Johannesburg, South Africa to Christchurch is an approximately 22-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 10 hour difference. In February, Christchurch is slightly colder than Johannesburg - with highs of 26°C and lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to drive to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation Tours Museums
Find places to stay Feb 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum

1
night
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.
You've now added Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa to your itinerary. On the 26th (Wed), look for gifts at The Decadent Fudge Company, then head outdoors with Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa.

To see photos and other tourist information, go to the Hanmer Springs online route planner .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can drive to Nelson.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Outdoors Nature Parks
Find places to stay Feb 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa ©
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre ©
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre

1
night
Nelson

Nelson ©
Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Nelson Provincial Museum, then don't miss a visit to Centre of New Zealand, then examine the collection at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum, and finally stop by Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Nelson trip maker tool .

You can drive from Hanmer Springs to Nelson in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Nelson

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Nelson Provincial Museum ©
Nelson Provincial Museum
Centre of New Zealand ©
Centre of New Zealand

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Larnach Castle & Gardens, don't miss a visit to The World's Steepest Street, steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, then examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and finally hike along Tunnel Beach Track.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read Dunedin holiday planner .

You can fly from Nelson to Dunedin in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. You'll have a few hours on the 29th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Dunedin

Historic Sites Museums Trails
Find places to stay Feb 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Larnach Castle & Gardens ©
Larnach Castle & Gardens
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Olveston Historic Home ©
Olveston Historic Home

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