28 days in South Island Itinerary

28 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island visit planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Hanmer Springs
— 1 night
2
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
3
Christchurch
— 2 nights
4
Invercargill
— 2 nights
5
Dunedin
— 1 night
6
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
7
Wanaka
— 2 nights
8
Queenstown
— 3 nights
9
Hokitika
— 2 nights
10
Lake Tekapo
— 3 nights
11
Oamaru
— 3 nights
12
Stewart Island
— 2 nights

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Thu): stop by The Decadent Fudge Company, view the masterpieces at Majuba Gallery, and then get outside with Hanmer Llamas.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Hanmer Springs road trip planning website.

Sydney, Australia to Hanmer Springs is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. Traveling from Sydney to Hanmer Springs, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Outdoors Shopping Museums
Find places to stay Jul 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Hanmer Llamas ©
Hanmer Llamas
Majuba Gallery ©
Majuba Gallery

2
nights
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 31st (Fri), experience rural life at The Point Sheep Shearing Show, thenget engrossed in the history at Kaikoura Museum, thenidentify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, and finally stop by Kaikoura Cheese. Here are some ideas for day two: fly down the slopes at Mount Lyford Alpine Resort, hike along Ohau Stream Walk, and then explore the fascinating underground world of Maori Leap Cave.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Kaikoura trip simple and quick.

Drive from Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can go by car to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Mount Lyford Alpine Resort
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 1:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Kaikoura Museum ©
Kaikoura Museum
The Point Sheep Shearing Show ©
The Point Sheep Shearing Show

2
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 2nd (Sun), have fun at Newzengland Ltd - Clay Shooting & Archery Services, thendon't miss a visit to Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, thenget your game on at Velocity Karts, and finally test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon): visit Port Hills, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, thencontemplate the long history of Riccarton House & Bush, and finally see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

To see where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, use the Christchurch day trip site.

You can drive from Kaikoura to Christchurch in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. In August, daytime highs in Christchurch are °C, while nighttime lows are °C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can travel to Invercargill.

Things to do in Christchurch

Fun & Games Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Aug 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Velocity Karts ©
Velocity Karts
Port Hills ©
Port Hills

2
nights
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. On the 4th (Tue), kick back and relax at Oreti Beach, stroll through Rakiura Rides, thenexplore the ancient world of Invercargill Brewery, and finally pause for some photo ops at Burt Munro Statue. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Wed): steep yourself in history at Demolition World, browse the fresh offerings at Southern Farmers Market, and then see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

For maps, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Invercargill online road trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Christchurch to Invercargill takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Invercargill

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Fishing Charters & Tours
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Rakiura Rides ©
Rakiura Rides
Demolition World ©
Demolition World
Invercargill Brewery ©
Invercargill Brewery

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 6th (Thu): take some stellar pictures from Signal Hill, identify plant and animal life at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, thenbrowse the exhibits of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Sandfly Bay Track.

To find other places to visit, photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Dunedin travel planner.

Traveling by car from Invercargill to Dunedin takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Signal Hill ©
Signal Hill
Dunedin Public Art Gallery ©
Dunedin Public Art Gallery

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 (Fri): stroll through Governors Bush Walk, thenhike along Mueller Hut Route, and then trek along Sealy Tarns Track.

You can plan Mt. Cook Village trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Drive from Dunedin to Mt. Cook Village in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Trails Parks

Side Trip

Sealy Tarns Track
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Sealy Tarns Track ©
Sealy Tarns Track
Mueller Hut Route ©
Mueller Hut Route
Governors Bush Walk
Governors Bush Walk

2
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.
On the 8th (Sat), relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, push the limits with Oxbow Adventure Co, and then take in the pleasant sights at Beacon Point Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Sun): hike along Isthmus Peak Track, thensee the interesting displays at The World of Deer Museum & Speciality Shop, and then trek along Rob Roy Track.

To find photos, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Wanaka itinerary planning site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Trails Parks
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Oxbow Adventure Co ©
Oxbow Adventure Co
Spas
The World of Deer Museum & Speciality Shop ©

3
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Break One and iFLY Queenstown. Change things up with these side-trips from Queenstown: Real Country (in Kingston) and Glenorchy Animal Experience (in Glenorchy). There's much more to do: get your game on at Thrillzone Queenstown, get in on the excitement at Queenstown Ice Arena, explore the activities along Arrow River, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Mt Crichton Loop Track.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Queenstown trip planner.

Getting from Wanaka to Queenstown by bus takes about 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Hokitika.

Things to do in Queenstown

Fun & Games Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Real Country, Glenorchy Animal Experience
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Break One ©
Break One
Thrillzone Queenstown ©
Thrillzone Queenstown
iFLY Queenstown ©
iFLY Queenstown

2
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. Discover out-of-the-way places like Hokitika Museum and Devils Punchbowl Walking Track. Get out of town with these interesting Hokitika side-trips: Greymouth (Point Elizabeth Walkway & Woods Creek Track), Arthur's Pass National Park (Otira Viaduct Lookout & Arthur's Pass Walking Track) and Coal Creek Track (in Runanga). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Mahinapua, take in the views from Taramakau Road-Rail Bridge, admire the landmark architecture of Hokitika Town Clock, and view the masterpieces at Bonz 'N Stonz.

To see maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Hokitika trip itinerary planning app.

Drive from Queenstown to Hokitika in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to travel to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Arthur's Pass National Park, Greymouth, Coal Creek Track
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Mahinapua ©
Lake Mahinapua
Hokitika Museum ©
Hokitika Museum
Otira Viaduct Lookout ©
Otira Viaduct Lookout

3
nights
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo ©
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sun): see Off-Road Tours, hike along Mount John Summit Circuit Track, thenlook for gifts at Aotea Gifts Tekapo, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Burkes Pass Gallery. On the 17th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: identify plant and animal life at Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve and then fly down the slopes at Roundhill Ski Area.

To see maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Lake Tekapo road trip planning website.

Getting from Hokitika to Lake Tekapo by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Oamaru.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

Burkes Pass Gallery
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Alexandrina ©
Lake Alexandrina
Off-Road Tours
Aotea Gifts Tekapo ©
Aotea Gifts Tekapo

3
nights
Oamaru

Oamaru ©
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Oamaru Harbour and Real Dog Adventures NZ. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Oamaru: The Vanished World Centre (in Duntroon), Silo Art (in Waimate) and Kurow (Aviemore Dam & Waitaki Hydro Station Lookout).

For reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Oamaru tour site.

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Oamaru takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can travel to Stewart Island.

Things to do in Oamaru

Outdoors Museums Parks

Side Trips

Kurow, The Vanished World Centre, Silo Art, Hampden Stores, Real Dog Adventures NZ
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Sanctum Grove Equine ©
Sanctum Grove Equine
Oamaru Harbour ©
Oamaru Harbour
Adventure Books ©
Adventure Books

2
nights
Stewart Island

Stewart Island ©
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ulva Island and Rakiura Museum.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Stewart Island trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Oamaru to Stewart Island with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Stewart Island

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Aug 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Rakiura Track ©
Rakiura Track
Ulva Island ©
Ulva Island
Fishing Charters & Tours

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