28 days in South Island Itinerary

28 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island tour planner

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Route & dates

28 days in South Island Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  8 h
1
Blenheim
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 45 min
2
Nelson
— 1 night
Fly + Bus:  3 h
3
Christchurch
— 4 nights
Drive:  5 h
4
Fox Glacier
— 4 nights
Drive:  5 h 30 min
5
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
6
Dunedin
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
7
Invercargill
— 1 night
Bus:  3 h 45 min
8
Te Anau
— 5 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
9
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Fly:  5 h 45 min
End: Sydney

1
night
Blenheim

Blenheim ©
Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
On the 3rd (Mon), examine the collection at The National Whale Centre, then do a tasting at Hunter's Wines Cellar Door & Wine Shop, then examine the collection at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, and finally sample some tasty brews at a beer tour and tasting.

For photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Blenheim trip itinerary planner.

Sydney, Australia to Blenheim is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Sydney to Blenheim due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Sydney in August, you will find days in Blenheim are a bit cooler (15°C), and nights are about the same (9°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can drive to Nelson.

Things to do in Blenheim

Museums Wineries

Side Trip

The National Whale Centre
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Hunter's Wines Cellar Door & Wine Shop ©

1
night
Nelson

Nelson ©
Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): see the interesting displays at Nelson Provincial Museum, look for gifts at Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith, examine the collection at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum, then take in the exciting artwork at Rare Creations Interactive Wooden Art Gallery, and finally explore the galleries of South Street Gallery.

For topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Nelson holiday tool .

Traveling by car from Blenheim to Nelson takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Nelson

Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Rare Creations Interactive Wooden Art Gallery
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Nelson Provincial Museum ©
Nelson Provincial Museum

4
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Appreciate the collections at Canterbury Museum and Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu). Explore Christchurch's surroundings by going to Geraldine Observatory (in Geraldine) and Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa (in Hanmer Springs). The adventure continues: see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, take in panoramic vistas at Christchurch Gondola, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral, and pause for some photo ops at Diminish and Ascend.

To find photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Christchurch travel itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Nelson to Christchurch in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. In August, daily temperatures in Christchurch can reach 14°C, while at night they dip to 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums Transportation Tours

Side Trips

Geraldine Observatory, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Find places to stay Aug 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre
Geraldine Observatory ©
Geraldine Observatory

4
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Fox Glacier is known for trails, beaches, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Franz Josef Glacier, enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach, make a trip to River Walk, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Fox Glacier using our trip planner.

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Fox Glacier takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery ©
ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
When in Mt. Cook Village, make a side trip to see Lake Tekapo in Lake Tekapo, approximately Lake Tekapo away. The adventure continues: head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, hike along Governors Bush Walk, see the sky in a new way at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Mueller Hut Route.

To see photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Mt. Cook Village trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Mt. Cook Village takes 5.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre ©
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook

3
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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and Whitestone City. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Dunedin: Oamaru (Lazy Cat Pottery and Tileworks, Grainstore Gallery, &more). Next up on the itinerary: engage your brain at Otago Museum, make a trip to The World's Steepest Street, identify plant and animal life at The Royal Albatross Centre, and view the masterpieces at Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Dunedin trip planner.

Drive from Mt. Cook Village to Dunedin in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can go by car to Invercargill.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums Parks Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Oamaru, Port Chalmers Maritime Museum
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Otago Museum ©
Otago Museum
Steampunk HQ ©
Steampunk HQ

1
night
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. On the 19th (Wed), get engrossed in the history at E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian, admire the masterpieces at Southland Museum and Art Gallery, then examine the collection at Bill Richardson Transport World, and finally don't miss a visit to Burt Munro Statue.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Invercargill trip itinerary builder website .

You can drive from Dunedin to Invercargill in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Invercargill

Museums
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Bill Richardson Transport World ©
Bill Richardson Transport World
Southland Museum and Art Gallery ©
Southland Museum and Art Gallery

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.
On the 22nd (Sat), hike the day away at Dusky Track. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, head outdoors with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions, examine the collection at Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum, and stroll through The Chasm Walk.

To see where to stay, maps, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, read our Te Anau trip maker tool .

Take a bus from Invercargill to Te Anau in 4 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Fiordland National Park
Find places to stay Aug 19 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum ©
Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

5
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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Silver Fern Gallery and Artbay Gallery. There's lots more to do: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, take a memorable tour with Tours, stroll through Coronet Peak, and learn the secrets of beer at a beer tour and tasting.

For maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip website .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Aug 24 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Silver Fern Gallery ©
Silver Fern Gallery
Artbay Gallery ©
Artbay Gallery

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