22 days in South Island Itinerary

22 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island tour planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Nelson
— 1 night
Drive
2
Punakaiki
— 1 night
Drive
3
Hokitika
— 1 night
Drive
4
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Bus
5
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Cromwell
— 1 night
Drive
7
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Invercargill
— 1 night
Drive
9
Bluff
— 1 night
Drive
10
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Oamaru
— 1 night
Drive
12
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive
13
Akaroa
— 1 night
Drive
14
Blenheim
— 3 nights
Fly

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28

Nelson — 1 night

Top of the South

Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
On the 7th (Sat), pause for some serene contemplation at Christ Church Cathedral and then sample some tasty brews at a beer tour and tasting. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: sample the fine beverages at Liquid Alchemy, then do a tasting at Mahana Estates, then kick back and relax at Kaiteriteri Beach, and finally learn about winemaking at Riwaka River Estate.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, go to the Nelson online trip itinerary builder.

Hamilton to Nelson is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, ferry, and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Punakaiki.
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Wineries · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 8:

Punakaiki — 1 night

Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Inland Pack Track, hike along Truman Track, and then stroll through Pororari River Track.

To find traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Punakaiki trip maker website.

You can drive from Nelson to Punakaiki in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can go by car to Hokitika.
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Parks · Wildlife · Trails · Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 9:

Hokitika — 1 night

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. Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): pause for some serene contemplation at St Mary's Catholic Church.

To see where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Hokitika trip builder.

Traveling by car from Punakaiki to Hokitika takes 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to travel to Wanaka.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 10:

Wanaka — 2 nights

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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): trek along Isthmus Peak Track, learn about winemaking at Aitken's Folly Vineyard, then glide through natural beauty at Snow Farm NZ, and finally appreciate the history behind Wanaka War Memorial. On your second day here, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, see the interesting displays at The World of Deer Museum & Speciality Shop, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then take in the exciting artwork at Wanaka Fine Art Gallery, and finally indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

Plan trip to Wanaka with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Hokitika to Wanaka. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to catch the bus to Queenstown.
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Outdoors · Wineries · Tours · Parks
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 12:

Queenstown — 2 nights

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Fri): take a memorable tour with Tours, brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Cardrona Distillery, and then get a dose of the wild on UnderDog Sled Dog Tours. On the next day, fly down the slopes at Coronet Peak and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Queenstown road trip site.

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Queenstown in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can drive to Cromwell.
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Outdoors · Winter Sports · Nature · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 14:

Cromwell — 1 night

Cromwell is a town in Central Otago in the Otago region of New Zealand.Cromwell is between State Highway 6 (linking to Wanaka, 50 km north, and Queenstown, 60 km west) and State Highway 8 leading to the Lindis Pass, 75 km northeast, and Alexandra, 33 km south. Start off your visit on the 15th (Sun): indulge in some personalized pampering at Radiance Skin and Day Spa, then do a tasting at Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door, and then awaken your taste buds at Roaring Wine Tours.

For photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Cromwell itinerary website.

Drive from Queenstown to Cromwell in an hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can travel to Te Anau.
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Wineries · Tours · Spas
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 15:

Te Anau — 2 nights

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.
On the 16th (Mon), get interesting insight from Tours, identify plant and animal life at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at Fiordland Massage Clinic. Keep things going the next day: explore the activities along Milford Sound, then stroll through The Chasm Walk, and then explore the activities along Lake Gunn.

For other places to visit and other tourist information, read Te Anau driving holiday planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Cromwell to Te Anau. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to travel to Invercargill.
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Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 17:

Invercargill — 1 night

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 18th (Wed): examine the collection at Classic Motorcycle Mecca, see the interesting displays at Bill Richardson Transport World, then explore the ancient world of Invercargill Brewery, and finally take an in-depth tour of E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian.

Discover how to plan a Invercargill trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Te Anau to Invercargill. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can go by car to Bluff.
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Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 18:

Bluff — 1 night

Bluff, previously known as Campbelltown, is a town and seaport in the Southland region, on the southern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Bluff Hill, view the masterpieces at The Lighthouse Art Gallery and Cafe, and then take some stellar pictures from Stirling Point.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Bluff trip itinerary planner.

Bluff is very close to Invercargill. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Dunedin.
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Shopping · Nature · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 19:

Dunedin — 2 nights

Edinburgh of the South

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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): get interesting insight from Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Sat): take an in-depth tour of Fletcher House, identify plant and animal life at Penguin Place, then browse the exhibits of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Paul's Cathedral.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Dunedin trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Bluff to Dunedin takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to drive to Oamaru.
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Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 19 — 21:

Oamaru — 1 night

Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): pause for some serene contemplation at St Luke's Anglican Church, get engrossed in the history at Whitestone City, then don't miss a visit to Oamaru's Victorian Precinct, and finally admire the natural beauty at Oamaru Public Gardens.

To see traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Oamaru trip itinerary maker site.

You can drive from Dunedin to Oamaru in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can drive to Christchurch.
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Parks · Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 21 — 22:

Christchurch — 2 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 23rd (Mon), steep yourself in history at Riccarton House & Bush, then learn about all things military at Air Force Museum of New Zealand, and then steep yourself in history at Taylors Mistake - Awaroa / Godley Head Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Sumner Beach (Cave Rock), then examine the collection at Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum, and then take in the pleasant sights at Banks Peninsula.

Planning Christchurch trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

You can drive from Oamaru to Christchurch in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In August, daytime highs in Christchurch are 14°C, while nighttime lows are 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Akaroa.
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Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 22 — 24:

Akaroa — 1 night

Long Harbour

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): look for gifts at Pot Pourri, take an in-depth tour of Akaroa Museum, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Saint Peter's Anglican Church, then appreciate the history behind Banks Peninsula War Memorial and Grounds, and finally get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Akaroa sightseeing planning website.

You can drive from Christchurch to Akaroa in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 14°C in August, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to drive to Blenheim.
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Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Museums
Find places to stay Aug 24 — 25:

Blenheim — 3 nights

Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Edwin Fox Maritime Museum and Havelock Museum. Get in touch with nature at Waikawa Dive Centre and Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve. Step out of Blenheim to go to Havelock and see The Gallery, which is approximately 36 minutes away. There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, do a tasting at Spy Valley Wines, get engrossed in the history at Marlborough Museum, and get advice or help at The Renwick Museum & Watson Memorial Library.

To find where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Blenheim road trip planning app.

You can drive from Akaroa to Blenheim in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of taxi and train. Traveling from Akaroa in August, expect a bit warmer with lows of 9°C in Blenheim. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to fly back home.
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Museums · Wineries · Wildlife · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Aug 25 — 28:

South Island travel guide

4.7
Entertainment Centers · Bodies of Water · Hiking Trails
Māui's Canoe
The wilder of New Zealand's two main islands, South Island offers a feast of nature in all its glory. Extensive, untouched plains connect alpine landscapes with rugged shorelines, creating a home for an abundance of animals and vegetation, on land and in the rich surrounding waters. Renowned as a window to the natural world before man (something that scores of film directors have tapped into over the years), South Island folds its cities and townships into the surrounding landscape, their populations adding something singular to the mix. On your trip to South Island, you'll witness the awe-inspiring cultural heritage of the Maori, whose art and architecture complements the developments of the colonial legacy. The result is a land of characterful buildings, rolling vineyards, and free-spirited adventure.
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