16 days in South Island Itinerary

16 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island holiday planner

Plan created by another user.Make it yours

Route & dates

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

3
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Christchurch: Little River Gallery (in Little River) and Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Akaroa). The adventure continues: admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, get to know the resident critters at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Christchurch road trip planning app.

Sydney, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Christchurch is 2 hours. Traveling from Sydney in December, expect Christchurch to be slightly colder, temps between 24°C and 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation Tours Parks

Side Trips

Little River Gallery, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Explore Mt. Cook Village's surroundings by going to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Hooker Valley Track, Kea Point Track, &more) and Lake Tekapo (in Lake Tekapo). There's still lots to do: get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki, look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and trek along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks.

For traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Mt. Cook Village trip maker site.

Getting from Christchurch to Mt. Cook Village by car takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

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.
On the 2nd (Thu), explore the striking landscape at Otago Peninsula, thenexplore and take pictures at The Royal Albatross Centre, and then take some stellar pictures from Flagstaff lookout and Hotere Garden. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri): don't miss a visit to The World's Steepest Street, thenexamine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, thentrek along Tunnel Beach Track, and finally step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens.

For maps, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Dunedin trip itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Dunedin in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
The Royal Albatross Centre ©
The Royal Albatross Centre
Otago Peninsula ©
Otago Peninsula
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

4
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.
When in Te Anau, make a side trip to see Milford Foreshore Walk in Milford, approximately Milford away. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, trek along Kepler Track, look for all kinds of wild species at Ivan Wilson Park, and tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Te Anau trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Dunedin to Te Anau takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

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.
Go for a jaunt from Queenstown to Wanaka to see Lake Wanaka about 1h 15 min away. The adventure continues: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, steep yourself in history at One Mile Power House, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

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

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Lake Wanaka
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Zipline
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka

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