15 days in South Island Itinerary

15 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island travel route planner

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Route & dates

15 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  5 h 45 min
1
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
2
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus:  5 h 15 min
3
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
4
Mt. Cook Village
— 2 nights
Drive:  5 h 30 min
5
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive:  5 h
6
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Fly:  6 h 15 min
End: Sydney

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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and get your game on at Skyline Queenstown.

To find other places to visit, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip planner.

Sydney, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Sydney to Queenstown. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

3
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.
On the 31st (Thu), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk, trek along Lake Gunn, and Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

To find where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Thu) to allow enough time to take a bus to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Fiordland National Park
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Larnach Castle & Gardens, then steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, then examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Dunedin Botanic Garden. On the next day, engage your brain at Otago Museum, don't miss a visit to The World's Steepest Street, then get engrossed in the history at Fletcher House, and finally identify plant and animal life at The Royal Albatross Centre.

Start your trip to Dunedin by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Getting from Te Anau to Dunedin by bus takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) to allow time to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums Parks Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Larnach Castle & Gardens ©
Larnach Castle & Gardens
The Royal Albatross Centre ©
The Royal Albatross Centre

2
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, then stroll through Hooker Valley Track, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kea Point Track. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Mon): trek along Sealy Tarns Track, then trek along Glencoe Walk, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo.

To see other places to visit, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the Mt. Cook Village trip planner.

You can drive from Dunedin to Mt. Cook Village in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can go by car to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

2
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Tue): trek along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, hike along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach, stroll through Moraine Walk, and then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

To find traveler tips, photos, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier online trip builder .

Traveling by car from Mt. Cook Village to Fox Glacier takes 5.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Christchurch.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach

2
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train, take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and then appreciate the history behind Chalice Sculpture. On the next day, enjoy breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola, take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, then see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Christchurch trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Christchurch takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. January in Christchurch sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation Tours Museums
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum

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