60 days in South Island Itinerary

60 days in South Island Itinerary

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Route & dates

60 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: George Town, Penang Island
Fly:  18​h 15​min
1
Queenstown
— 6 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Dunedin
— 7 nights
Drive:  4​h
3
Invercargill
— 5 nights
Bus:  2​h 30​min
4
Te Anau
— 7 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Milford Sound
— 4 nights
Fly + Bus:  2​h 15​min
6
Wanaka
— 8 nights
Bus:  4​h
7
Fox Glacier
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Hokitika
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
9
Hanmer Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
10
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
Bus:  3​h
11
Christchurch
— 7 nights
Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: George Town, Penang Island

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.
Get some cultural insight at Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door and Chard Farm Winery. Escape the urban bustle at Lake Hayes Walkway and Zipline. On the 19th (Sat), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at Coronet Peak. Fill the 20th (Sun) with unforgettable perspectives with a canyoning and rapelling tour. The adventure continues: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, appreciate the extensive heritage of Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, get engrossed in the history at Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery, and don't miss a visit to Fallen Soldiers Memorial.

To find more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Queenstown road trip planning site .

George Town, Malaysia to Queenstown is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 5 hours traveling from George Town to Queenstown due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement ©
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway
Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door ©
Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door

7
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.
Get outdoors at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Dunedin Beach. Discover out-of-the-way places like Aramoana Beach and Nugget Point Lighthouse. Change things up with these side-trips from Dunedin: Roaring Bay (in Kaka Point), Nugget Point/Tokata Walks (in Balclutha) and Katiki Point Lighthouse (in Moeraki). The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, explore the striking landscape at Otago Peninsula, step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, and view the masterpieces at Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Dunedin online sightseeing planner .

Drive from Queenstown to Dunedin in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Mon) early enough to travel to Invercargill.

Things to do in Dunedin

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Nugget Point/Tokata Walks, Roaring Bay, Nugget Point Lighthouse, Port Chalmers' Seafaring Museum, Katiki Point Lighthouse
Find places to stay Oct 21 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Nugget Point Lighthouse ©
Nugget Point Lighthouse
Katiki Point Lighthouse ©
Katiki Point Lighthouse
Nature & Wildlife Tours

5
nights
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Explore hidden gems such as McLean Falls and Bill Richardson Transport World. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Classic Motorcycle Mecca and Demolition World. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Invercargill: Hump Ridge Track (in Tuatapere) and Waikawa Museum and Information Centre (in Tokanui). Spend the 30th (Wed) exploring the striking scenery along Southern Scenic Route. And it doesn't end there: get outside with Bluff Hill, view the masterpieces at City Gallery, hike along Cathedral Caves Walk, and admire the masterpieces at Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

To see more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Invercargill online tour itinerary planner .

You can drive from Dunedin to Invercargill in 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Invercargill

Outdoors Parks Museums

Side Trips

Bluff Hill, Cathedral Caves Walk, Waikawa Museum and Information Centre, McLean Falls, Hump Ridge Track
Find places to stay Oct 28 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Bill Richardson Transport World ©
Bill Richardson Transport World
Classic Motorcycle Mecca ©
Classic Motorcycle Mecca
Hump Ridge Track ©
Hump Ridge Track

7
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.
Get in touch with nature at Hollyford Track and Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Step off the beaten path and head to Mirror Lakes Walk and The Chasm Walk. On the 6th (Wed), hike the day away at Kepler Track. On the 9th (Sat), hike the day away at Dusky Track. There's much more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound.

To find where to stay, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read our Te Anau road trip site .

Explore your travel options from Invercargill to Te Anau with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Milford Sound.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Fiordland National Park
Find places to stay Nov 2 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

4
nights
Milford Sound

Milford Sound ©
Carved by glaciers into a land of sheer cliffs, impressive waterfalls, and lush, meandering fjords, Milford Sound remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in New Zealand.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Milford sound Hwy and Routeburn Track. Visiting Lake Marian Track and Monkey Creek will get you outdoors. The adventure continues: examine the collection at Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mitre Peak, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Gunn, and don't miss a visit to Homer Tunnel.

To see other places to visit, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read our Milford Sound vacation planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Milford Sound. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Milford Sound

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Routeburn Track
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Milford sound Hwy ©
Milford sound Hwy
Routeburn Track ©
Routeburn Track

8
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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at The Picture Lounge and Outside Sports. Take a break from the city and head to Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Blue Pools Track. Spend the 17th (Sun) on the water with a fishing tour. Spend the 20th (Wed) exploring nature at Mount Aspiring National Park. Next up on the itinerary: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, fly down the slopes at Snow Farm, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka, and learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard.

To find reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Wanaka trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Milford Sound to Wanaka. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to catcht the bus to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Fishing Charters & Tours
Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain walks ©

5
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Tatare Tunnels Walk and Aoraki/Mt. Cook. Visiting Nature & Wildlife Tours and Fox Glacier will get you outdoors. There's lots more to do: hike along Franz Josef Glacier, enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Hooker Valley Track, and stop by ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery.

For reviews, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read our Fox Glacier day trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Fox Glacier takes 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) early enough to drive to Hokitika.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Find places to stay Nov 21 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track
Tatare Tunnels Walk ©
Tatare Tunnels Walk

3
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. Head to Wilderness Gallery and Bonz 'N Stonzfor some retail therapy. Museum-lovers will appreciate Hokitika Museum and Hokitika Craft Gallery Co-op. Get out of town with these interesting Hokitika side-trips: Devils Punchbowl Walking Track (in Arthur's Pass National Park) and Woods Creek Track (in Greymouth). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Hokitika Beach, contemplate the long history of Shantytown Heritage Park, admire the sheer force of Dorothy Falls, and look for all kinds of wild species at Hokitika Gorge Walk.

For traveler tips, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Hokitika trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Hokitika in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can go by car to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Hokitika

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Greymouth, Devils Punchbowl Walking Track
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach
Wilderness Gallery ©
Wilderness Gallery
Glow Worm Dell ©
Glow Worm Dell

3
nights
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre and Hanmer Forest. Do your shopping at Majuba Gallery and The Decadent Fudge Company. The adventure continues: take in the awesome beauty at Conical Hill, look for all kinds of wild species at Hanmer Springs Animal Park, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and contemplate the long history of Queen Mary Hospital.

To see more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Hanmer Springs online day trip planner .

Drive from Hokitika to Hanmer Springs in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 2:
Highlights from your plan
Hanmer Forest ©
Hanmer Forest
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre ©
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre
Spas

3
nights
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Kaikoura Museum and Art & Design Gallery. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Scuba & Snorkeling and Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Peninsula Seal Colony, take a memorable tour with Tours, enjoy some diversion at The Emporium, and stop by Kaikoura Cheese.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Kaikoura trip planner .

Getting from Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can catcht the bus to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony
Nature & Wildlife Tours

7
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Akaroa Museum and Canterbury Museum. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Port Hills and Riccarton House & Bush. Change things up with these side-trips from Christchurch: Akaroa (Pot Pourri, Dolphin & Whale Watching, & more). On the 7th (Sat), spend a relaxing day on the river with a rafting and tubing tour. On the 8th (Sun), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at Mt Hutt Ski Area. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Sumner Beach (Cave Rock), see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, explore the activities along Avon River, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral.

To find maps, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Christchurch journey planner.

Traveling by bus from Kaikoura to Christchurch takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In December in Christchurch, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 12°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 12th (Thu) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Akaroa, Mt Hutt Ski Area
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Mt Hutt Ski Area ©
Mt Hutt Ski Area
Port Hills ©
Port Hills
Akaroa Museum ©
Akaroa Museum

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