18 days in Wellington & South Island Itinerary

18 days in Wellington & South Island Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Wellington & South Island Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  7​h
1
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
2
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
3
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
4
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
5
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
6
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Sydney

3
nights
Wellington

Wellington
Wellington, the world's southernmost capital city and New Zealand's second most populous urban area, combines the nation's rugged history and nature with its modern and cosmopolitan present.
Wellington is known for museums, wildlife, classes, nature, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, head outdoors with Great Alpine Highway, get great views at Wellington Cable Car, and take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum.

To see reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Wellington trip site .

Sydney, Australia to Wellington is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, taxi, and train. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 2 hours. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Sydney in April; daily highs in Wellington reach 20°C and lows reach 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Wildlife

Side Trips

Great Alpine Highway, Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Apr 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden

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 17th (Fri): catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train, see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, and then appreciate the history behind Chalice Sculpture. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Sat): enjoy breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola, take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, then stroll around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Christchurch itinerary planner.

Getting from Wellington to Christchurch by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and train. Traveling from Wellington in April, expect slightly colder with lows of 8°C in Christchurch. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation Tours Museums
Find places to stay Apr 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum

3
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 nature, trails, beaches, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Franz Josef Glacier, explore the activities along Lake Matheson Walk, take in the awesome beauty at Fox Glacier, and hike along Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Fox Glacier holiday maker .

Getting from Christchurch to Fox Glacier by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to go by car to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Apr 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Change things up with a short trip to Lake Tekapo in Lake Tekapo (about 58 minutes away). And it doesn't end there: get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, explore the activities along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, trek along Hooker Valley Track, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Red Tarns Track.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village trip itinerary maker site .

Drive from Fox Glacier to Mt. Cook Village in 5.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can travel to Te Anau.

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 Apr 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

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.
Te Anau is known for nature, trails, nightlife, wildlife, and adventure. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the activities along Milford Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Gunn, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, and hike along The Chasm Walk.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Te Anau visit planning app .

Explore your travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Apr 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Kepler Track ©
Kepler 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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, wildlife, nature, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, race across the water with a speed boat tour, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and browse the exhibits of Queenstown Arts Centre.

To see ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Queenstown trip itinerary maker app .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Apr 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu

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