If time (and spending plan) permit, this itinerary will get you from the northern tip, to the extremely southern reaches of the South Island.
If you truly want to see as significantly as you can on the South Island, then this South Island 21 day itinerary need to go well with you.
My recommended itinerary is:
Working day 1.
Get there in Christchurch. There are numerous motels close to the intercontinental airport, so collect your hire car or truck, check into your motel, and have a audio evenings slumber, mainly because your adventure commences tomorrow.
Working day 2.
Currently on your New Zealand itinerary, consider your time to investigate Christchurch. Christchurch has a pretty “English” come to feel to it, and even has the river Avon functioning through it. Possibly a vacation on the gondola, or a drive to the sea aspect “French” settlement of Akaroa, situated close by on the lovely Bank’s Peninsula. There is plenty to see and do in Christchurch.
Acquire the short drive (1.5 hrs) north to the thermal village of Hanmer Springs. Hanmer has a huge thermal pool advanced, with pools of various temperatures. What a enjoyable way to invest a few hours. The elaborate also residences a drinking water slide intricate for the young children and the young at coronary heart.
Working day 4.
There are so quite a few highlights on your South Island Showcase New Zealand itinerary, and this is a single of them. These days you head off to the breathtaking coastal city of Kaikoura (2 hrs). Kaikoura is renowned for it is seafood, whale seeing, seal colony, and scenery, in which the mountains look to occur all the way down to the sea. In the colder months the peaks are lined in snow, supplying some incredible picture chances.
Working day 5.
Nowadays is the day to get a whale observing excursion. Very best to do it early in the early morning before the wind and seas decide up. The whale viewing tours are very well operate, and incredibly satisfying. You might also see dolphins, seals, and other maritime daily life.
These days your New Zealand itinerary normally takes you from Kaikoura to Nelson. Nelson is a “largish” city of all-around 50,000 individuals, properly positioned on the shores of Tasman Bay. In the wintertime months, snow caps the bordering ranges.
Nelson is also the gateway to the well known Abel Tasman National Park. Access to the park is through the little bayside village of Marahau, which is about 1 several hours generate from Nelson.
Days 7 & 8.
You have two total times to take a look at the Nelson area. The Abel Tasman Countrywide Park is a “will have to see”. You can opt for to consider a shorter wander in the park, overnight walks, or a kayak excursion. Nelson also has a vibrant wine sector, so potentially a pay a visit to to a community vineyard? If your strategies incorporate a vacation to the Abel Tasman, acquire the time to check out the breathtaking tiny village of Kaiteriteri. A wonderful spot for a snack wanting over the bay.
If time permits, a trip to Golden Bay and Farewell Spit is also advised. On the way halt off at Te Waikoropupu Springs (Pupu Springs).
Working day 9.
These days your South Island Showcase New Zealand itinerary requires you from Nelson on the north coastline, to Punakaiki (3.5 hours)on the rugged west coast. Punakaiki is regarded for the Pancake Rocks and blowhole. The rocks are columns of limestone, which resemble stacks of pancakes. Punakaiki is surrounded by the Paparoa National Park, which covers some 30,000 hectares.
Punakaiki has a couple of lodging alternatives, but my favorite is the Punakaiki Vacation resort, a wonderful sea aspect lodge located beachfront. Your room appears to be right around the ocean, and the exceptional restaurant delivers you the opportunity to enjoy the sun setting in excess of the ocean. A wonderful way to finish the day.
Working day 10.
Right now normally takes you from Punakaiki to Franz Josef village (2.5 hrs drive). The village has quite a few lodging options, and is the base for several tour operators. Franz Josef Glacier ( a Entire world Heritage Area) drops from a peak of 2,700 metres previously mentioned sea stage, to about 240 metres above sea level, within a length of 11 kilometres, earning for impressive viewing.
When you get there in the village, check out the choices for tours, as you may want to e book in advance for day 11. Also be informed that climate situations transform promptly in this portion of New Zealand, so your itinerary permits a complete day no cost tomorrow for versatility when reserving excursions.
Working day 11.
Nowadays on your South Island Showcase New Zealand itinerary you are cost-free to discover Franz Josef (and nearby Fox Glacier). There are a variety of possibilities for guided tours, helicopter flights etc. The heli flight and landing on the leading of the glacier is extremely advised (if a small expensive).
If you are seeking for something a very little far more sedate, a walk to the experience of Franz Josef Glacier may perhaps be much more to your liking. Make confident that you get a at ease pair of sneakers as the wander requires about 1.5 hours return from the carpark.
Fox Glacier is also nearby.
Working day 12.
Present-day push can take you alongside the west coastline to the little village of Haast, then inland to the attractive lakeside township of Wanaka. Wanaka is a spotlight of your New Zealand itinerary. Wanaka is, in numerous approaches, related to Queenstown. It sits on the banking companies of a beautiful lake, Lake Wanaka, and is a base for the two world course skifields, Cardrona and Treble Cone. Wanaka feels a minimal more peaceful than Queenstown, and the format of the town centre looks less cluttered. Dining selections abound alongside the lake front, and offer the best environment for a calming coffee.
There is loads to see and do in Wanaka, with sights like Puzzling Globe, the historic Cardrona pub, trout fishing, and 4wd excursions to identify a couple.
Wanaka has several accommodation options, but a lake check out is nicely worthy of the extra income if your spending plan will allow.
Right now usually takes us to Queenstown, the “Journey Cash” of New Zealand. There are two roads from Wanaka to Queenstown. The road by way of Cromwell will take all around 1.5 hrs, and is reasonably uninspiring by New Zealand requirements. Considerably superior to just take the shorter (1 hour) drive by way of Cardrona, around the Crown Array. The views are beautiful, and the street is claimed to be the highest primary street in the nation. If you have time, quit off at the historic Cardrona hotel for morning tea or lunch.
Days 14 & 15.
Queenstown is one particular of the highlights of your South Island Showcase New Zealand itinerary.
Well, where to get started with Queenstown! This is a person of my favourite New Zealand places. Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown features a little something for all people. You can do as minor, or as considerably as you like.
A “must do” is a excursion to Milford Seem. The excursion from Queenstown is around 4 hours each and every way, which can make for a quite long and tiring day if you push you. Substantially improved to get an organised bus tour, or bus a single way and fly the other (flights are quite substantially dependent on weather conditions conditions). Milford Audio has been explained as the eighth Marvel of the World, and is New Zealand’s most common vacationer attraction.
Other items at the prime of the “Queenstown record” are a excursion on the Gondola to Bob’s peak, a cruise on lake Wakatipu on the aged steamer TSS Earnslaw, a thrilling jet boat experience, or probably a bungy jump.
Working day 16.
Journey currently to the southern city of Invercargill (2.5 hrs). Invercargill is found on the Southern Scenic Route, and is the southernmost and westernmost metropolis in New Zealand. It is the gateway to Stewart Island and the Catlins. Invercargill has numerous museums and artwork galleries, and a shorter travel away is Bluff, residence of the popular Bluff Oyster. Stewart Island is the third largest New Zealand island, and is situated 30 kilometres (19 miles) off the southern coastline. The ferry vacation from Bluff requires around 1 hour every way. Stewart Island has lots of intriguing character walks, and impressive surroundings.
For matters to do in and all around Invercargill, click here.
Times 17 & 18.
These days, your New Zealand itinerary usually takes you to Dunedin (all around 2.5 several hours generate). Dunedin is the South Island’s second biggest metropolis, with a inhabitants of about 120,000. Dunedin is a university town, attracting learners from many international locations.
Dunedin has a Scottish heritage, and in reality was previously recognised as New Edinburgh. This Scottish influence can be noticed in the local Edwardian architecture, this kind of as St Paul’s Cathedral, the City Hall, Dunedin Railwat Station, and the historic Larnach Castle, found some 13 kilometres from the metropolis centre.
Dunedin also properties New Zealand’s very first Botanic Gardens, and is property to a extensive array of marine and birdlife.
Working day 19.
Your South Island Showcase New Zealand itinerary continues right now with the generate to Mt Cook (4 hours travel).
Mt Cook (Aoraki) is New Zealand’s optimum peak at 3,753 metres, and is aspect of Mt Prepare dinner Nationwide Park, which also contains the mighty Tasman Glacier. At 30 kilometres in length, it is 1 of the most significant glaciers outdoors the Himalayas.
Mt Cook village has a number of accommodation solutions and is also property to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, which is situated in the Hermitage Lodge intricate. Other things to do involve mountaineering (look at on temperature conditions prior to leaving), glacier flights and walks, and just lazing all over wanting in awe at Mt Cook dinner.
Your final car or truck trip now is a 4 hour travel again to Christchurch. Along the way, cease off at Lake Tekapo for a perspective of the unbelievable turquoise waters of the lake. The Southern Alps, like Mt Cook, sort a backdrop, and offer a memorable picture possibility. Tekapo is also dwelling to the Church of the Very good Shepherd, which need to be a person of the most photographed properties in New Zealand.
Fly dwelling. However, all excellent items must close, but I hope that this South Island Showcase New Zealand itinerary has been beneficial. Enjoy.