8 days in South Island Itinerary

8 days in South Island Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + Bus:  8​h 30​min
1
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Dunedin
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Invercargill
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Sydney

2
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.
On the 5th (Tue), skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour and then trot along with a tour on horseback. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at Blue Pools Track, then cast your line with a fishing tour, and then race across the water with a speed boat tour.

For photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Wanaka trip maker .

Sydney, Australia to Wanaka is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Sydney to Wanaka. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Speed Boats Tours
Horseback Riding 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 7th (Thu): explore the activities along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, then get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and then explore the activities along Lake Pukaki.

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

Explore your travel options from Wanaka to Mt. Cook Village with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks ©
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki

1
night
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 8th (Fri): kick back and relax at Aramoana Beach, identify plant and animal life at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Speight’s Brewery, and finally trek along Tunnel Beach Track.

For photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Dunedin trip planning app .

Getting from Mt. Cook Village to Dunedin by car takes about 4 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can go by car to Invercargill.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Aramoana Beach ©
Aramoana Beach
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track

1
night
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sat): stop by Blue River Dairy, then see the interesting displays at Bill Richardson Transport World, then get engrossed in the history at E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian, and finally explore the world behind art at Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

To see more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the Invercargill trip planner .

Traveling by car from Dunedin to Invercargill takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Invercargill

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Sun): take a memorable tour with Tours and then cast your line with a fishing tour. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Ben Lomond Track, contemplate the long history of Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, and then do a tasting at Chard Farm Winery.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip planner .

Traveling by car from Invercargill to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trip

Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement ©
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement

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