60 days in South Island Itinerary

60 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip maker
Make it your trip
1
Christchurch
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Geraldine
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Lake Tekapo
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Twizel
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Omarama
— 1 night
Drive
6
Oamaru
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Dunedin
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Kaka Point
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Curio Bay
— 3 nights
Drive
10
Invercargill
— 4 nights
Drive
11
Te Anau
— 7 nights
Drive
12
Mossburn
— 2 nights
Drive
13
Queenstown
— 6 nights
Bus
14
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Drive
15
Haast
— 3 nights
Drive
16
Fox Glacier
— 6 nights
Drive

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Christchurch — 4 nights

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Get out of town with these interesting Christchurch side-trips: Akaroa (Fire & Ice - Gemstone Jewellery Specialists & Dolphin & Whale Watching). And it doesn't end there: stroll around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, have some family-friendly fun at Velocity Karts, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Christchurch trip maker tool.

If you are flying in from Germany, the closest major aiport is Christchurch International Airport. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in November, and nighttime lows around 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Geraldine.
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Parks · Museums · Shopping · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Geraldine — 2 nights

Geraldine or Heratini is a town in the Canterbury Region on the South Island of New Zealand. Start off your visit on the 6th (Sun): admire the natural beauty at Pleasant Valley Daffodils, identify plant and animal life at Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve, and then look and learn at Geraldine Observatory. Here are some ideas for day two: tee off at Methven Golf Club and then get engrossed in the history at The Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Museum.

To see traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Geraldine day trip planning app.

Getting from Christchurch to Geraldine by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) so you can drive to Lake Tekapo.
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Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Wildlife
Side Trips

Lake Tekapo — 4 nights

Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Lake Tekapo: Mt. Cook Village (Glacier Explorers, Mueller Hut Route, &more). The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo, go for a walk through Mount John University Observatory, boost your wellbeing at Tekapo Springs, and take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

To see reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Lake Tekapo day trip website.

You can drive from Geraldine to Lake Tekapo in 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can drive to Twizel.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Tours
Side Trips

Twizel — 3 nights

Get out of town with these interesting Twizel side-trips: Mt. Cook Village (Aoraki/Mt. Cook & Red Tarns Track). Spend a day of country life on the 14th (Mon) at SkyScape.

For more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read Twizel route tool.

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Twizel takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to drive to Omarama.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Side Trips

Omarama — 1 night

Omarama is a small township at the junction of State Highways 8 and 83, near the southern end of the Mackenzie Basin, in the South Island of New Zealand. Start off your visit on the 15th (Tue): look for gifts at Big Rooster Gifts, Antiques, Decor & More, view the masterpieces at Totara Peak Gallery, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at Hot Tubs Omarama.

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

Omarama is just a stone's throw from Twizel. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to drive to Oamaru.
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Shopping · Museums · Spas

Oamaru — 4 nights

Venture out of the city with trips to Katiki Point Lighthouse (in Moeraki) and Silo Art (in Waimate). Spend the 17th (Thu) on two wheels at Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Oamaru driving holiday site.

You can drive from Omarama to Oamaru in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can drive to Dunedin.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Dunedin — 4 nights

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.
When in Dunedin, make a side trip to see Central Cycle Trail Co. in Clyde, approximately Clyde away. There's still lots to do: step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, tour in style with a train tour, identify plant and animal life at The Royal Albatross Centre, and examine the collection at The Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery.

For more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Dunedin trip planner.

Getting from Oamaru to Dunedin by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to go by car to Kaka Point.
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Tours · Parks · Museums · Wildlife
Side Trip

Kaka Point — 2 nights

Kaka Point is a small settlement at the northern edge of The Catlins, an area of the southern South Island of New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Thu): make a trip to Nugget Point/Tokata Walks. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the world behind art at The Lost Gypsy Gallery.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Kaka Point trip builder tool.

Traveling by car from Dunedin to Kaka Point takes 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Curio Bay.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping
Side Trips
Highlights from your trip

Curio Bay — 3 nights

You'll find plenty of places to visit near Curio Bay: McLean Falls (in Papatowai) and Chaslands (Cathedral Caves Walk & McLean Falls Walk).

To see ratings and more tourist information, you can read our Curio Bay route planner.

Traveling by car from Kaka Point to Curio Bay takes 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can drive to Invercargill.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trips

Invercargill — 4 nights

Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. When in Invercargill, make a side trip to see Otautau Gallery in Otautau, approximately Otautau away. Spend the 29th (Tue) exploring the striking scenery along Southern Scenic Route. There's much more to do: examine the collection at Classic Motorcycle Mecca, let little ones run wild at Dig This Invercargill, take an in-depth tour of E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian, and walk around Queens Park.

For reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Invercargill trip itinerary app.

You can drive from Curio Bay to Invercargill in 1.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can travel to Te Anau.
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Museums · Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Parks
Side Trip

Te Anau — 7 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.
Change things up with a short trip to Boat Tours & Water Sports in Milford Sound (about 58 minutes away). Spend the 3rd (Sat) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 6th (Tue), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Milford Sound, stroll through Routeburn Track, hike along Kepler Track, and explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

To find where to stay, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our Te Anau road trip planning website.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Invercargill to Te Anau. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Mossburn.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Side Trips

Mossburn — 2 nights

Mossburn is a small town in the northern Southland Region of New Zealand. On the 10th (Sat), browse the exhibits of Athol Art Gallery and then appreciate the history behind Statue of Stag. On your second day here, admire the natural beauty at Curiosity Cottage and then look for gifts at Wild Wool Gallery.

For reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Mossburn trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Mossburn. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to drive to Queenstown.
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Shopping · Parks · Museums
Side Trips

Queenstown — 6 nights

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and wildlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Otago Central Rail Trail, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and sample some tasty brews at a beer tour and tasting.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown day trip tool.

You can drive from Mossburn to Queenstown in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.
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Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wineries
Side Trip

Wanaka — 4 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.
Spend the 20th (Tue) exploring nature at Mount Aspiring National Park. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka, hit the slopes at Wanaka, trek along Roys Peak Track, and learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard.

To see maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Wanaka trip planner.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Wanaka in 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to travel to Haast.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Haast — 3 nights

Haast is an area in the Westland District territorial authority on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Haast is known for wildlife, beaches, and sightseeing. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: surround yourself with nature on Waiatoto River Safari, get outside with Bruce Bay, enjoy the sand and surf at Ship Creek Walks, and stroll through Monro Beach.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Haast travel route planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Wanaka to Haast. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Fox Glacier.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trips

Fox Glacier — 6 nights

A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Get out of town with these interesting Fox Glacier side-trips: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Glencoe Walk, Hooker Valley Track, &more). The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, tour the pleasant surroundings at Minnehaha Walk, take in the pleasant sights at River Walk, and hike along Moraine Walk.

For traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Fox Glacier trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by car from Haast to Fox Glacier takes 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) early enough to go by car back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches
Side Trips

South Island travel guide

4.6
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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