13 days in South Island Itinerary

13 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly to Queenstown, Bus to Te Anau
1
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Bus
2
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4

Te Anau

— 2 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.
Te Anau is known for nature, trails, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves, trek along Lake Gunn, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Doubtful Sound.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Te Anau driving holiday planning tool.

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam to Te Anau is an approximately 18-hour combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Bandar Seri Begawan to Te Anau is 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:

Queenstown

— 3 nights

Shallow Bay

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 parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: push the limits with an extreme tour, get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens.

For maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip itinerary builder tool.

Getting from Te Anau to Queenstown by bus takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Fun & Games · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28:

Mt. Cook Village

— 3 nights
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Change things up with these side-trips from Mt. Cook Village: Fox Glacier (Helicopter Tours, Moraine Walk, &more), Franz Josef Glacier (in Franz Josef) and Hooker Valley Track (in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)). Next up on the itinerary: head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook and trek along Kea Point Track.

For maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Mt. Cook Village sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Queenstown to Mt. Cook Village in 3 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:

Christchurch

— 3 nights

Garden City

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 1st (Wed): catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train, then get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and then pause for some photo ops at Diminish and Ascend. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, then enjoy some diversion at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally look for gifts at Little River Gallery.

To see other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the Christchurch trip builder website.

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Christchurch in 4 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Christchurch can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 12°C. On the 3rd (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours · Transportation · Parks · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:

South Island travel guide

4.5
Bodies of Water · Entertainment Centers · 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.