32 days in South Island Itinerary

32 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island vacation planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
2
Hanmer Springs
— 1 night
3
Christchurch
— 5 nights
4
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 5 nights
5
Wanaka
— 4 nights
6
Queenstown
— 6 nights
7
Te Anau
— 5 nights
8
Dunedin
— 2 nights

3
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 2nd (Fri): look for gifts at Kaikoura Cheese, don't miss a visit to Ohau Point Seal Colony, and then trek along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Keep things going the next day: sample some tasty brews at Beer School, see Glenstrae Farm 4 Wheel Adventures, then take a tour by water with Seal Kayak Kaikoura, and finally stroll through Ohau Stream Walk.

To see photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Kaikoura vacation maker tool.

Nelson to Kaikoura is an approximately 3-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Tours · Trails
Find places to stay Oct 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Seal Kayak Kaikoura ©
Seal Kayak Kaikoura
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk

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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sun): get some thrills on the water with Hanmer Springs Attractions, view the masterpieces at Majuba Gallery, then take a pleasant ride with Hanmer Horse Trekking, then soothe aching muscles at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Conical Hill.

To find photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Hanmer Springs trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can drive to Christchurch.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Parks · Nature · Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Hanmer Horse Trekking ©
Hanmer Horse Trekking
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa ©
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Hanmer Springs Attractions ©
Hanmer Springs Attractions

5
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Change things up with these side-trips from Christchurch: Little River Gallery (in Little River) and Akaroa (The Garden at French Farm, Dolphin & Whale Watching, &more). On the 6th (Tue), spend the day riding on TranzAlpine Train. There's much more to do: admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, don't miss a visit to 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial, trot along with Rubicon Valley Tourist Centre, and pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral.

For ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Christchurch route planner.

Getting from Hanmer Springs to Christchurch by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Christchurch are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours · Transportation · Parks

Side Trips

Akaroa, Little River Gallery, Ohinetahi Garden
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Christchurch Gondola ©
Christchurch Gondola

5
nights
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) ©
Explore Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)'s surroundings by going to Franz Josef (West Coast Wildlife Centre, Helicopter Tours, &more) and Fox Glacier (Moraine Walk, Fox Glacier South Side Walk, &more).

To find traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, use the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) travel itinerary planner.

You can take a bus from Christchurch to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) in 4.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Outdoors · Parks · Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Fox Glacier
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Skydive Fox Glacier ©
Skydive Fox Glacier
Ski The Tasman ©
Ski The Tasman
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier

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.
Spend the 18th (Sun) exploring nature at Mount Aspiring National Park. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Lake Wanaka, learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard, get off the beaten track with The Cardrona, and appreciate the history behind Wanaka War Memorial.

To see ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Wanaka trip builder app.

Take a bus from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Wanaka in 6 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks · Nature · Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
The Cardrona ©
The Cardrona
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Mount Aspiring National Park ©
Mount Aspiring National Park

6
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.
Go for a jaunt from Queenstown to Cromwell to see Misha's Vineyard Tasting Room about 52 minutes away. On the 23rd (Fri), dedicate a day to the elevated beauty of The Remarkables Ski Area. There's still lots to do: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens, and whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Queenstown planner.

Getting from Wanaka to Queenstown by bus takes about 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

Misha's Vineyard Tasting Room, Otago Central Rail Trail
Find places to stay Oct 19 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Spas
The Remarkables Ski Area ©
The Remarkables Ski Area

5
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Te Anau: Milford Foreshore Walk (in Milford) and Milford Sound (Bowen Falls & Boat Tours & Water Sports). Spend the 26th (Mon) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 28th (Wed), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. There's much more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, take an unforgettable tour with Southern Lakes Helicopters, trek along The Chasm Walk, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mitre Peak.

For other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read Te Anau trip planner.

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) early enough to catch the bus to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Oct 25 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Boat Tours & Water Sports
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

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.
Dunedin is known for wildlife, historic sites, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: look for all kinds of wild species at The Royal Albatross Centre, see the interesting displays at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, get some fabulous bargains at Happy Hens, and contemplate the long history of Larnach Castle & Gardens.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Dunedin journey planning app.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Dunedin takes 6 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 1:
Highlights from your plan
Otago Peninsula ©
Otago Peninsula
The Royal Albatross Centre ©
The Royal Albatross Centre
Otago Museum ©
Otago Museum

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